Elk Regional and Penn Highlands Prepare for Next Steps in Linkage Process
ST. MARYS – The Elk Regional Health System Board of Directors approved for the signing of an affiliation agreement between Elk Regional and Penn Highlands Healthcare on Sept. 14, an important milestone in the process to form a partnership between the region’s largest health care providers.
“It is exciting that this important milestone has been achieved,” said Robert W. O’Leary, chairman of the Elk Regional Health System Board of Directors. “After several months of discussion and negotiation, there is little doubt that the benefits of a partnership between Elk Regional and Penn Highlands are numerous. We believe that coming together will elevate patient care and will be a win-win situation for the residents of this region.”
Now that an affiliation agreement has been signed by officials at both organizations, the regulatory approval process can move forward. The partnership between Elk Regional and Penn Highlands is expected to win regulatory approval by the end of 2012.
The affiliation process has been ongoing since late 2011. In early April 2012, the Boards of Directors for each organization ratified a letter of intent that allowed the organizations to move forward with the creation of a partnership.
The letter of intent was an important milestone in the affiliation process because it allowed Elk Regional and Penn Highlands to begin discussing a partnership. In addition, the letter of intent began the “due diligence” process, a formality that requires that each organization fully disclose its financial, operational and contractual activities and obligations to the other.
“On behalf of the Board of Penn Highlands, I welcome the addition of Elk Regional to the group,” said Dennis L. Merrey, chairman of the Penn Highlands Board of Directors. “We believe that the combined strength of our organizations will provide many benefits to the communities we serve. We look forward to working together with our colleagues following the regulatory approval process.”
Penn Highlands Healthcare is a parent corporation that includes DuBois Regional Medical Center; Brookville Hospital, a subsidiary of DRMC; and Clearfield Hospital.
The Penn Highlands Board of Directors is made up of representatives, including physicians, from each of the member hospitals. Each member hospital retains its name, community base, medical staff and Board of Directors. Past and future community donations designated for each hospital remain in the control of that organization and are used according to the donor’s wishes.
As a parent corporation, Penn Highlands oversees joint efforts in areas such as the expansion of services, the acquisition of resources, and operational efficiencies.