Eugene A. Woods, president and chief executive officer of Atrium Health, and Ninfa Saunders, president and chief executive officer of Navicent Health, signed the definitive agreement for the strategic combination of their organizations in December 2018.

News | 3 years ago

Atrium Health and Navicent Health: A Strategic Combination that Fits

Atrium Health President and CEO Eugene A. Woods and Navicent Health President and CEO Ninfa Saunders have signed the final agreement for the strategic combination of the two organizations.

The announcement that Atrium Health President and CEO Eugene A. Woods and Navicent Health President and CEO Ninfa Saunders have signed the final agreement for the strategic combination of the two organizations marks another milestone toward improving the future of healthcare in the Southeast.

By strategically combining, the two healthcare systems will improve access to world-class services, expand care and provide an economic benefit to new communities as well as our existing service areas. Navicent Health will act as a regional hub of Atrium Health in Central and South Georgia – carrying out the mission of the system to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all.

Let’s look at how this combination will benefit communities from the Carolinas to Georgia.

Better Together

There once was an old proverb that said if you want to go somewhere fast, go it alone – but if you want to go somewhere far, go together. Although simple in its meaning, it could not hold more truth as it pertains to today’s healthcare climate. Mid-sized healthcare systems are facing tremendous challenges, not only to improve outcomes but to do so as costs continue to rise and reimbursements pressures mount. Going alone is becoming harder and harder – and having a partner is becoming an increasing necessity.

The pace of partnerships – especially among nonprofit hospitals and health systems – continues to remain strong, according to Kaufman Halla leading provider of strategic and financial consulting services. Anu Singh, a managing director at Kaufman Hall, says that the partnerships can help health systems “continue their missions of providing vital care in the communities they serve.”

So what makes for a good partner? Is it size? Location? Culture? Mission? To make for a good fit, the right partner needs to check all of these boxes and more. With roots dating back to the 19th century, Navicent Health, a nonprofit health system, has been recognized not just in its region or state, but nationally as an organization committed to accessible, affordable and equitable care for the communities it has been privileged to serve.

These attributes and others make Navicent Health a partner that is truly aligned with Atrium Health’s mission, values and vision – which is to be the first and best choice in care. We’re now fortunate to be able to extend this mission to the 750,000 residents that Navicent Health serves.

We’re also fortunate to combine with an organization that’s making strides in population health management – which is a critical component to helping our communities stay healthy now and in the future.

And to impactfully manage the health of populations, investments must be made in personnel, technology and capital projects. Having a partner who has developed a successful model, who can share best practices and assist in improved care delivery methods, is becoming increasingly important.

Combining with Navicent Health will bring benefits to all our communities – from the Carolinas to Georgia.

A Commitment to Our Communities

Navicent Health had opportunities to partner with other organizations but Atrium Health’s full scale of resources – from treatment of rare diseases to innovative technological solutions – made it an attractive ally. Both organizations serve a variety of populations – from metropolitan neighborhoods to rural communities and everything in between. It was important for both organizations to find a like-minded provider that strives not just to survive – but thrive – to find care solutions that fit each patient.

As part of the agreement to strategically combine, Together, Atrium Health and Navicent Health will provide a capital investment which includes $400 million for routine expenditures and designated strategic expenditures to be funded from Navicent Health, $250 million for additional strategic expenditures to be funded by Atrium Health; $175 million for discretionary expenditures to be funded by Atrium Health and $175 million to be funded by Navicent Health.

The financial pledge to Navicent Health comes on the heels of Atrium Health’s announcement to invest $1 billion back into the greater Charlotte community and beyond – ensuring it remains the healthcare leader in the region. This commitment will help address capacity, technology and infrastructure needs – allowing Atrium Health to be well-positioned for the next 50 years. Strengthening our core will allow us the ability to provide access to – and deliver – high-quality care to our patients in more innovative and efficient ways.

Better Health – Inside and Outside our Walls

By providing a new hub for our organization, it’s not just acute care that will be impacted. Atrium Health has been a leader in addressing social determinants of health (including housing, food insecurity, and transportation) and a model for instituting preventive health measures. The health system has been a driver in every community it touches – from educational opportunities to medical education and charitable giving.

Atrium Health and Navicent Health, the American Hospital Association’s 2018 Equity of Care Award recipient, are two organizations that truly put their missions above all else. It is our pleasure to combine our organizations to reach even more patients, families, teammates and partners now – and for generations to come.