February 14, 2018

WCHN exploring partnership with NY health network

Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) and a large New York healthcare network say they're in talks to develop new clinical programs and services together.

WCHN and Northwell Health say the two systems would continue to operate independently, maintaining their respective executive leadership teams and board governance structures, and be responsible for their own operations, assets, liabilities and finances.

A merger isn't being discussed, Amy Forni, WCHN's public relations manager, said Wednesday.

Possible collaborations remain in the discussion stage, but WCHN knows Northwell has "great resources that we can leverage," Forni said.

WCHN said its aim in partnering with Northwell Health is to grow clinical and operational efficiencies and increase access to high-quality, affordable care in the communities it serves in western Connecticut and adjacent counties in New York.

Northwell Health has 23 hospitals, 650 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians in the New York metropolitan area, including Westchester County.

The deal would allow WCHN to access Northwell's shared services, including its purchasing channels, data analytics, supply-chain management, and workforce development opportunities available through its corporate university.

The financial structure of the potential arrangement was not disclosed.

"Working collaboratively, our goal is to help WCHN prosper in this incredibly complex healthcare environment and improve the health of their communities …," Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell, said in a statement. "This collaboration is beneficial for both organizations, which share many of the same attributes and qualities, including an open and transparent culture, and a focus on physician and employee engagement."

WCHN operates Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk hospitals and has 70 practices across 16 communities, with a total employee count of about 6,300.

WCHN provides Northwell an entry into Connecticut through WCHN's brand reputation and footprint in western Connecticut and New York's Hudson Valley, its network of medical staff and financial stability, WCHN and Forni said.

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