While Arlington (Va.) Hospital negotiates a 50-50 deal with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., its longstanding teaching relationship with Georgetown University School of Medicine is up in the air.
Nelson Ford, chief operating officer at Georgetown University Medical Center, said the Washington medical school, which is part of the academic medical center, hasn't been included in any of the discussions about the Columbia-Arlington deal (Jan. 22, p. 15). Terms of that tentative deal haven't been disclosed.
"While we will look forward to meeting with the joint leadership (of Arlington and Columbia), to date we have made no commitments about what that future relationship will be between Arlington Hospital and Georgetown," Ford said last week.
Ford said he was concerned about a Columbia press release touting the 50-50 deal and Arlington's teaching affiliation with Georgetown. "The issue is that there is a new organization (Columbia) that will have a relationship that a predecessor organization has (with Georgetown), and that relationship is unconfirmed."
Columbia has said 322-bed Arlington will serve as the anchor of Columbia's northern Virginia network, which includes Columbia's 127-bed Reston (Va.) Hospital Center, 100-bed Dominion Hospital in Falls Church and Fairfax (Va.) Surgical Center.
Of Georgetown's 420 residents, 35 train at Arlington Hospital. "We have not been a party to any discussions involving Columbia and Arlington," Ford said. Georgetown has educated residents at Arlington Hospital since 1948.
A Columbia spokeswoman said its discussions with Arlington are confidential because the two organizations signed a letter of intent for their venture. However, Columbia and Arlington could still discuss a continued affiliation with Georgetown.
"I don't think we (would) rule out talking to anyone," said Rebecca Flynn, Columbia's communications director.