J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, PinnacleHealth agree to affiliation

From staff reports

HUNTINGDON – J.C. Blair Health System and PinnacleHealth System have announced that the governing boards of both organizations have approved a memorandum of understanding for affiliation, according to a joint press release issued by the two organizations.

Discussions between the two health systems began in May 2013 to explore possible clinical affiliations and corporate alignment to offer expanded high-quality health care services in the Huntingdon area.

According to the release, the first phase of J.C. Blair and PinnacleHealth’s affiliation efforts will focus on clinical support, group purchasing and physician recruitment. J.C. Blair will continue to operate as an independent acute care hospital, and its local Board of Directors remains in place.

“The careful evaluation of partnership options stemmed from each organization’s recognition of the importance of maintaining quality health care service in our local communities,” J.C. Blair President and CEO Lisa Mallon said. “Both organizations evaluated a variety of options. We are pleased with the outcome of a clinical affiliation and the investment that PinnacleHealth has committed to make in our Huntingdon community.”

J.C. Blair and PinnacleHealth recently announced a telemedicine partnership to bring specialty services, such as neurology, infectious disease, wound care and stroke care, to Huntingdon County. The goal of the telemedicine program is to get needed care, faster, 24 hours a day, seven days a week without transferring the patient to another hospital.

“The telemedicine program is one example of our commitment to the Huntingdon community,” said Mike Young, president and CEO of PinnacleHealth.

“Our goal from the beginning has been to explore ways we can work together to address changes in health care and improve the health of individuals and communities in the county,” Young said. “We believe under this affiliation agreement that PinnacleHealth will be able to support J.C. Blair in creating a strong foundation of clinical excellence and financial stability.”

J.C. Blair Health System is the primary health care provider in Huntingdon County, serving the community for more than 100 years. The Health System includes J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, a 100-bed, non-profit community hospital; J.C. Blair Medical Services, which employs more than 30 primary care and specialty physicians and nurse practitioners; J.C. Blair Rehabilitation Services; and J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital Foundation. Additional information is available online at www.jcblair.org

PinnacleHealth is a not-for-profit health care system serving the residents of Central Pennsylvania since 1873. Additional information is available online at www.pinnaclehealth.org.