HMA, Shands, UF Announce Cardiac/Stroke Care Alliance

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , May 6, 2011

Health Management Associates, Inc., the University of Florida, and Shands HealthCare on Thursday jointly announced an alliance that they said will improve cardiac and stroke emergency services at three regional hospitals in central Florida.

The alliance brings the UF physicians, resources, and protocols to HMA's regional hospitals through the Heart and Stroke Emergency Specialists program. It will provide teleconferencing consultations between physicians, continuing education, and other hands-on exchanges. And patients requiring tertiary care will be transferred to Shands at UF, an academic medical center in Gainesville, FL, a media release said.

"By teaming up with UF and Shands, we further our mission to enable America's best local healthcare," Gary D. Newsome, president/CEO of Naples, FL-based HMA said in a statement. "We do this by providing the people, processes, capital and expertise necessary for our hospital and physician partners to fulfill their local missions of delivering superior healthcare services. The Heart and Stroke Emergency Specialists program will result in even better care, and an even better overall experience for our patients."

The alliance is a first for UF and Shands. It includes Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center in Citrus County, and Brooksville, and Spring Hill Regional Hospitals in Hernando County, the media release said.

"We have been looking to extend our programs beyond Gainesville, and all three Health Management hospitals are highly-ranked facilities with accredited chest pain and/or certified primary stroke centers," said Tim Goldfarb, CEO of Shands HealthCare. "For us, it means working with a larger network of doctors on the front lines of Citrus and Hernando counties. For the regional hospitals it means quick access to our doctors and resources if they need us."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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