CHARLESTON, W. Va. – CAMC President and CEO Dave Ramsey said CAMC and My Health System have “similar cultures” and joining together to form the new Vandalia Health System is the next logical step.
“It’s sort of a natural thing that happened over years of collaborating and working together on quality patient care in our state,” Ramsey said during a Friday appearance on MetroNews’ Talkline. “.
Vandalia Health was unveiled Thursday in a press release from both hospital systems. They plan to file for a certificate of need with the State Health Care Authority on April 15.
Ramsey said “similar cultures” include a focus on patients, communities, employees and physicians.
“We are very optimistic that we will be able to combine the best practices of Mon Health and the best practices of CAMC, bring them together and improve both the cost and the quality of healthcare delivered to our patients,” said Ramsey.
Mon Health President and CEO David Goldberg said on Friday’s “Talkline” that patients might not notice much of a difference at first.
“Our local brands will stay in the markets and we think that’s important. Over time, including the Vandalia umbrella, which is what we all become, we will be included, but we don’t want to confuse patients. They know our facilities, they know our doctors, and that’s not going to change,” Goldberg said.
Earlier Friday, during an appearance on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” Goldberg said the partnership will focus on expanding the scope and scale of care while managing costs. After the merger, the new company will employ more than 12,000 people.
“A real merger, no one buys each other, merges the two organizations – it’s called a substitution of members,” Goldberg said. “We are excited to have this a new board, I will be Executive Vice President at Vandalia as well as President and CEO of Mon Health.”
One change will be the addition of the name of the parent company, Vandalia Health. Institutions in each health system will retain their identity. The new entity will have a board of directors made up of five people from Mon Health and 10 members from CAMC.
“Vandalia will be the parent’s name, but we will still be My Preston, My Stonewall, My Health Medical Center, etc.,” Goldberg said. “And our market, just like CAMC, is so strong it should be in the southern part of the state, they’re not losing their name.”
Officials at WVU Medicine, which operates West Virginia’s largest health care system, watched Thursday’s announcement with interest.
WVU medicine reaction
WVU Medicine President and CEO Albert Wright called the composition of Vandalia’s new board of directors “revealing.”
“Mon Health is joining CAMC’s parent company and CAMC will control the majority of that board based on the information we’ve seen,” Wright said. “It will be interesting to see how it develops over time, if there are any service additions here (in Morgantown) or service reductions,” Wright said.
Wright said WVU Medicine will continue to monitor the new deal.
“I guess as leaders of nonprofit healthcare organizations, they do what makes the most sense to them, their organizations, to fulfill their missions,” he said. “We will continue to watch it. It will be interesting to see.”
During Friday’s “Talkline” appearance, CAMC’s Ramsey was asked if the decision to form Vandalia Health was a response to WVU Medicine’s takeover of a significant number of small hospitals across the state. these last years. Ramsey said there will always be competition.
“In our industry, we compete in providing exceptional patient care and we believe both of our organizations are stellar in this regard and will continue to be,” Ramsey said. “The whole composition is there, you can’t ignore it, but we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t think it was the right thing.”
WAJR Radio reporter Mike Nolting contributed to this story.