The agreement means the two will merge including land, equipment, facilities and inventory. The partnership will facilitate the building of a new clinic, connected to the hospital, to be completed in the fall of 2010. Integrating the MeritCare Mayville clinic and Union Hospital will create more seamless care for patients, reduce duplication and allow for better use of resources. This partnership is a result of talks that began formally several years ago. While MeritCare's current merger negotiations with Sanford Health, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., were not a factor in these discussions, both are part of a commitment to regional health care.
MeritCare president/CEO, Dr. Roger Gilbertson says, "this partnership is exciting because it will offer greater opportunities to enhance patient care in the Mayville area. We know people value medical care that's close to home and MeritCare has embraced this concept as a strategy for growth. Given our largely rural service area, it's a challenge we are constantly working to address. Together we can offer more specialized services locally rather than sending patients further away from home for care. It's a real win win for the people we serve."
Union Hospital's CEO, Roger Baier says, "we have worked closely with MeritCare for many years, enjoying an excellent relationship. Also, MeritCare's other regional partners speak positively of them. This merger is a natural evolution for us in terms of ensuring strength, stability and resources for healthcare in our service area. With 479 doctors, MeritCare brings a lot to the table, offering more medical specialists than any other health system in the region."
- The name of the facility has not been finalized.
- All 59 current Union Hospital employees will keep their jobs. All will become MeritCare employees.
- MeritCare doctors and other providers will continue to serve both the clinic and hospital just as they have for many years.
- MeritCare Mayville clinic will move and be co-located at the hospital in a new addition to be built by late fall 2010. The clinic currently has two doctors, a nurse practitioner on staff with a physician assistant to be added soon, along with four doctors providing outreach and 18 employees.
- No immediate changes in services; all current medical care will continue.
- This is a growth strategy. Working together we can offer more highly specialized medical services to people in the Union Hospital service area.
- Enhances ability to recruit and retain doctors and other highly skilled medical staff as part of a larger system.
- Electronic medical records are in place allowing patient records to be accessed at any MeritCare location.
- Expanding and enhancing services. One example is the Picture Archival Communication System (PACS) MeritCare implemented recently at Union Hospital to allow doctors in Fargo to read digital images (X-rays, MRI and CT) twenty-four hours a day.
- MeritCare's relationship with the UND School of Medicine and other major research institutions across the nation bring the latest treatments, medications and research closer to home for people in the Mayville service area.
Union Hospital background
- 25-bed critical access hospital that has been independent since it was founded in April 1898.
- Union Hospital is a private non-profit hospital governed by an 11-member board from the Mayville area.
- Departments include: nursing service, clinical laboratory, radiology, surgery, a certified level V emergency room, central supply, physical therapy, cardiac rehabilitation and respiratory therapy. Additional services currently provided on a contract basis will be reviewed.
- Surgical specialties performed at Union Hospital include ophthalmology, obstetrics/gynecology, and general urological as well as endoscope procedures.
- Union Hospital's Foundation will continue to serve the Mayville service area. All funds raised will remain local.
MeritCare Health System background
- MeritCare is comprised of one hospital with two locations (583 beds) in Fargo, N.D., 20 clinic locations in Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo, a hospital (25 beds) in Thief River Falls, Minn., 19 regional clinics in Minnesota and 8 regional clinics in North Dakota.
- MeritCare manages regional hospitals in Perham, Minn.; Mahnomen, Minn.; and Hillsboro, N.D.
- MeritCare Health System is a not-for-profit integrated clinic and hospital system covering eastern N.D. and western Minn., with headquarters in Fargo, N.D.
- MeritCare has 479 doctors practicing in 73 medical specialties.