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SEATTLE - KIRKLAND (Nov. 2, 2011) — EvergreenHealth and Virginia Mason Medical Center's boards announced today their intent to form a strategic partnership. A letter of agreement is expected to be signed in mid-November. Through this partnership, Virginia Mason and EvergreenHealth will collaborate to provide patients with the highest quality, cost-effective health care.

As partners, the two integrated health systems will remain independent while collaborating on wide-ranging initiatives from the shared use of medical services to the development of new treatments and technologies.

"In EvergreenHealth, we've found a partner whose values and commitment to quality, innovation and superior outcomes at the lowest possible cost mirror our own," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason.

"This partnership is a platform from which both organizations will grow in ways that make clinical and economic sense for our patients, our communities, and each of the partners without costly duplication of services," said Kaplan.
 
"Virginia Mason's rich history as a distinguished Pacific Northwest healthcare provider underscores the clear alignment between our two like-minded organizations," said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte. "We believe that together we will realize substantial synergies that bring benefit to our communities through collaborating on a broad range of healthcare services."

The partnership is not a merger and does not involve any transaction that affects the governance, management or financial independence of the two organizations. Evergreen Healthcare and Virginia Mason will remain two distinct entities. Neither organization foresees any reduction in services or staff as a result of this partnership.

The organizations have identified two areas of immediate collaboration, along with a framework to evaluate future areas of improved care coordination.

  • Heart Services: EvergreenHealth and Virginia Mason will partner on primary, secondary and tertiary cardiac services. The organizations are committed to providing coordinated care across the continuum and providing patients the highest quality cardiology care on the Eastside. 
     
  • Home Care & Hospice: EvergreenHealth has a strong reputation for home care and hospice services in the Puget Sound region. Virginia Mason and EvergreenHealth will create further alignment inpatient care and throughout the home care services continuum.

Beyond the initial areas of collaboration, the partnership allows the organizations to identify areas for continuous improvement to develop a broader, more organized network of care in the Puget Sound region, while creating new models of care for patients.

In addition to the common vision and values shared by the organizations, each is nationally recognized for superior outcomes and committed to extraordinary service. Both Evergreen and Virginia Mason were recognized by HealthGrades with the 2011 Distinguished Hospital Award, a distinction given to the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation for clinical performance.

EvergreenHealth was also recognized by HealthGrades as performing in the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation for Outstanding Patient Experience, and Virginia Mason was named one of two Top Hospitals of the Decade by the Leapfrog Group in recognition of quality outcomes and effective use of resources for patients, as well as one of America's 100 Best Specialty Hospitals for cardiac and gastrointestinal services by HealthGrades. 

About Virginia Mason Medical Center 
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area, and Bailey-Boushay House, a skilled-nursing facility and Chronic Care Management program for people with HIV/AIDS. The medical center is affiliated with Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety. For more information, visit Facebook/VMcares or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

About EvergreenHealth
EvergreenHealth, a public hospital district and community-based healthcare organization established in 1972, offers a breadth of services and programs that is among the most comprehensive in the region. More than 950 physicians provide clinical excellence within more than 80 specialties, including general medicine, cardiac, oncology, surgical care, orthopedics and spine, a Neuroscience Institute, Women's and Children's services, hospice care, pulmonary care, a Sleep Disorders Center and Home Health services care. Evergreen serves more than 400,000 residents in its primary service area of northern King and southern Snohomish counties with community based physicians, Evergreen Medical Group, a network of primary and urgent care practices in seven locations, and 290-bed Evergreen Hospital Medical Center, its main hospital campus in Kirkland, Wash. EvergreenHealth also provides emergency care at two sites: its main hospital campus and the Evergreen Redmond Medical Center. In addition to clinical care, EvergreenHealth offers extensive community health outreach and education programs, anchored by Evergreen Healthline, a 24/7 nurse consultation service. For more information, visit www.evergreenhospital.org.

CONTACTS:

 
Kay Taylor — VP of Marketing
EvergreenHealth
KTaylor@evergreenhealthcare.org
(425) 899-2604 | (303) 514-5326 (c)
Gale Robinette — Media Relations Manager
Virginia Mason Medical Center
gale.robinette@vmmc.org
(206) 341-1509
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