A group of some of the nation's most prominent children's hospitals has hired a top corporate matchmaker to help its members forge stronger relationships with teaching hospitals and other partners, MODERN HEALTHCARE has learned.
The hiring of author, lecturer and consultant Jordan Lewis by Child Health Corporation of America signals that many children's hospitals see their future in alliances, not mergers.
Shawnee Mission, Kan.-based Child Health represents 36 children's hospitals across the country.
In addition to coaching its members on effective alliance-building, Child Health also is investing in a new Atlanta-based physician practice management company that deals solely with pediatricians (See story, p. 16).
Lewis, 60, author of The Connected Corporation and Partnerships for Profit, specializes in building business alliances among corporations, their suppliers and other parties. His clients include such venerable firms as Merck & Co., Motorola and Wal-Mart.
In this case, Lewis will advise the children's hospitals on building the right alliances with a variety of market powers, including academic medical centers, HMOs and employers.
"An alliance is not working together, it's not sharing a building; it is a relationship creating more value than an arm's-length transaction," he said. "An alliance is defined by more value."
For example, automobile manufacturer Chrysler Corp. brought its bracket supplier into the factory. Subsequently, the supplier designed a new bracket that saved 80 times its price in assembly costs.
Lewis will be holding a private two-day seminar in Dallas this week for Children's Health members, along with representatives from hospitals, academic medical centers, faculty practice plans and HMOs.