Affiliation nears for CMC, Huggins, MCH

The move toward an affiliation of Catholic Medical Center in Manches­ter, Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro and Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough is taking a big step forward with submission of a filing with the Charitable Trusts Unit of the NH Attorney General’s Office, detail­ing the terms of the arrangement.

CMC announced its intent to affiliate with Huggins Hospital last November, and submitted a letter of intent to af­filiate with Monadnock Community Hospital in January. The agreement, being reviewed by regulators, will re­sult in a more integrated health care system to serve the hospitals’ respec­tive communities.

 The filing comes after all three hos­pital boards and the bishop of the Manchester diocese approved the af­filiation. The affiliation is not an acquisition, rather it is a “collaboration,” and staffs and physicians will continue working for their respective hospitals, officials said.

 “This New Hampshire-based, New Hampshire-focused collaboration al­lows us to effectively use our resourc­es and expertise to improve quality, cost and access to health care,” said Dr. Joseph Pepe, president and CEO of Catholic Medical Center. “It builds on the long and successful existing clinical relationships between CMC and these two, strong critical access hospitals.”

Under terms of the affiliation agree­ment, Huggins and MCH will continue to operate as secular, nonprofit com­munity hospitals, with CMC continu­ing to operate as a Catholic, nonprofit acute health care system. The hospi­tals will maintain separate boards of directors, along with their respective charitable missions. The affiliation is expected to be ap­proved by the end of 2016.

According to Jeremy Roberge, inter­im president and CEO of Huggins, his hospital and CMC “have been working together for many years to improve access to cardiology and vascular care for our patients.” In the last month, he added, the two facilities also began collaborating on shared hospitalists.

Similar collaborations have also ex­isted for years between CMC and MCH, which also work together on neurology and laboratory services, said Cynthia McGuire, president and CEO of the hospital.

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