"The fact that Northeast did not have a parent organization prior to the merger, psychologically for our board to work through that, was a challenge," said Jim Reed, CEO of Northeast Health.
To address internal culture and integration, the three health systems formed a mission and culture integration group of about a dozen leaders from each of the organizations. The group will apply information from an organization-wide culture assessment survey to form action plans and remeasure the results in order to create a common culture.
"Physicians were generally supportive of the merger," said St. George. "About 80% responded that they were moderately supportive or extremely supportive."
After identifying a common culture among the organizations and staff, the next step is creating clinical integration groups in fields such as oncology, cardiology, behavior health, etc. The timeline for clinical integration for St. Peter's Health will begin in the summer when Deloitte Consulting begins designating teams to organize where service line consolidation should happen.