St. Vincent Charity Hospital and Saint Luke's Medical Center, both in Cleveland and part of the Caritas Healthcare Partnership, are realigning their top administration to be able to operate virtually as one hospital at two sites.
Under the realignment, Alan Channing, who has served as president and chief executive officer of St. Vincent Charity in downtown Cleveland since March, will hold the same post at Saint Luke's. Jeffrey Jeney, who was president and CEO at Saint Luke's, now is chief operating officer for the two hospitals. And St. Vincent's chief financial officer, John Kowalski, will assume the same role at Saint Luke's.
The changes are designed to make it easier for the two hospitals to integrate their services, said Stephen Royal, who heads Caritas. The Caritas partnership also includes St. John West Shore Hospital in Westlake, Ohio, which is not af-fected by the administrative realignment.
"My goal as president (and CEO) of the partnership is for us to work and act as a partnership," Royal said. "We've repositioned leadership to begin strategic thinking as one, while maintaining separate identities."
St. Vincent Charity and Saint Luke's executives are working with physicians, clinical staff and board members from community organizations to develop by the end of September a plan detailing how the hospitals can best collaborate and organize their services.
The hospitals are striving to operate much like a single hospital at two locations, examining their services to determine what they need to offer and how to best serve the needs of their communities.
Areas targeted for collaboration are physician relationships, primary care, women and children's health, and cardiovascular and emergency and trauma services.
"We're looking at opportunities to take advantage of the resources at the two hospitals so we can begin operating as an integrated whole," Channing said. The hospitals will take "any opportunity we see to do things more efficiently, smarter, faster and with better outcomes," he said.
Jeney agreed. "(We'll) create synergies where there are opportunities to collaborate," he said.
For instance, the hospitals could evaluate their women and children's services and seek ways to provide outpatient services at St. Vincent Charity while acting as a referral to Saint Luke's, which has an obstetrics program.
Saint Luke's and St. Vincent Charity will maintain separate boards, medical staff and nursing administration.
The executives said that with similar missions and the hospitals' geographic proximity, it made sense for them to share administration to find additional ways to collaborate and coordinate their services.
The Caritas partnership is a joint venture between Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine Health System and Nashville-based Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.