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05/25/17 - Rice Memorial, ACMC Health and CentraCare Health in talks to create a new regional health system

ACMC Health and Rice Memorial Hospital announced today that they have taken initial steps to create a new regional health system in partnership with CentraCare Health. Rice Memorial Hospital board members and ACMC Health physicians voted on Wednesday night to take this action. The three organizations aspire to create a unique approach to providing health and wellness services for West Central and Southwest Minnesota residents. The goal of this new system is to enhance patient access to comprehensive, high quality and affordable care close to home.

"We envision an entirely new and exciting care delivery model for people in this region. This partnership brings the expertise of all three organizations together for the benefit of our communities," said Dr. Cindy Firkins Smith, president and CEO of ACMC Health.

ACMC Health and Rice Memorial engaged with CentraCare Health as a partner because of their shared values and belief in the potential to create a care approach that better fits with the future direction of health care. All three organizations will engage in a process with key stakeholders for approval, which is slated for later 2017 and implementation in 2018. Rice Memorial's board emphasized the hospital remains city owned.

"Patients expect and deserve to receive excellent, high-quality health care locally. That is why we're embarking on this partnership," said Mike Schramm, CEO of Rice Memorial Hospital. "By working together, our patients will experience better coordinated care from a network of regional experts."

Schramm and Smith emphasized their commitment to exceptional, collaborative care throughout West Central and Southwest Minnesota.

"ACMC Health, Rice Memorial Hospital, and CentraCare share the same values. We believe that in times of sickness, every one of us wants the best care possible, and we want it in our community. Our patients want these things too," said Dr. Kenneth Holmen, president and CEO of CentraCare Health. "This partnership will help us achieve this vision for West Central and Southwest Minnesota."

"By bringing together local physicians, health care providers and the public hospital, we have the opportunity to take an innovative approach to rural health care," continued Smith.

Patients can continue to receive exceptional care from their current physicians and health care providers during the discussion period. Care provided by Rice Memorial Hospital and ACMC physicians in Willmar, Marshall, Redwood Falls, Granite Falls, Litchfield, New London and Benson will continue as normal.