Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics, CVHC, St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics, SMH, and Kootenai Health have entered into a letter of intent to transfer ownership of the two critical access hospitals from Essentia Health to Kootenai Health. CVHC and SMH are owned and operated by Essentia Health, a non-profit health care system. Essentia Health’s other facilities are primarily located in Minnesota, Wisconsin and eastern North Dakota.

The Idaho hospitals provide outstanding patient care, however, because they are geographically remote from Essentia Health’s headquarters and other facilities, it is hard for them to collaborate and coordinate care across the Essentia Health System. In February, 2019, with Essentia Health’s approval and support, CVHC and SMH issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking a business relationship with a health system in closer proximity to north-central Idaho.

After careful consideration, Kootenai Health was selected to partner with CVHC and SMH. The three organizations will work together over the next several months to finalize the terms of the partnership, develop a transition plan, and seek their respective organizational boards’ approval. Kootenai Health is committed to maintaining the catholic identity and supporting operations of SMH in a manner consistent with its Catholic tradition, including compliance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. The target date for this transition is being finalized, but is anticipated in early 2020.

Strong regional relationships are critical for rural hospitals to remain independent and survive. Isolation puts rural hospitals at risk of closing their doors and leaving their communities without the health care and employment opportunities they need. This partnership is intended to strengthen health care in north-central Idaho and help ensure ongoing, quality health care in these communities.

Although details have yet to be determined, the intent is for CVHC and SMH to retain their current structures, boards, and leadership. Through Kootenai Health, they will gain access to needed resources, best practices and the opportunity for physicians and clinical staff members to work with other providers to share information and discuss complex cases.

Kootenai Health already has a management agreement with Syringa Hospital in Grangeville, Idaho. This partnership with CVHC and SMH will allow additional collaboration and service enhancements for all three hospitals and clinics throughout the region.

More information on the proposed transition will be made available as plans develop.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.