Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, part of Pennsylvania State University in Hershey, and Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill, Pa., will collaborate in the creation of an integrated health network serving residents of central Pennsylvania.
The two institutions and their medical staffs said they'll develop centers of excellence in certain specialties and a continuum of services emphasizing wellness, prevention and total health management. Financial details weren't available.
The agreement preserves the Roman Catholic mission of Holy Spirit, sponsored by the Sisters of Christian Charity.
Earlier this year, Penn State announced an affiliation with 830-bed Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa. Lehigh serves as a clinical campus for Hershey (Feb. 14, p. 55).
Key objectives in the Holy Spirit agreement are to seek cost savings and reduce duplicative services. Possibilities for shared services include clinical information systems, specialized laboratories, information technology and primary-care center development.
The 335-bed Holy Spirit and 439-bed Hershey also will explore the development of affiliated primary-care residency programs and sponsorship of joint continuing medical education programs. A new family and community medicine residency program may be started at Holy Spirit, said C. McCollister Evarts, M.D., Penn State's senior vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine.
As part of its integrated health network development, Hershey will renegotiate contracts for its residency training programs. It has decided to phase out longstanding residency training programs at Harrisburg (Pa.) Hospital because the 402-bed hospital isn't part of the integrated network. Harrisburg trains 22 Hershey residents.
Harrisburg declined to comment because it hasn't received written notice of Hershey's intent, said Crystal Hull, a spokeswoman for Harrisburg, a unit of Capital Health System. Its contract with Hershey requires a one-year notice of such changes, she said.