The Board of Directors of Punxsutawney Area Hospital and Indiana Regional Medical Center

Announce Pennsylvania Mountain Cares Network
Signing

The Board of Directors of Punxsutawney Area Hospital  and Indiana Regional Medical Center are pleased to announce they have entered into a definitive agreement effective November 1, 2020 establishing Pennsylvania Mountains Cares Network (PMCN) as the parent organization with governance control over both hospital organizations.

PMCN was formed in 2015 as an affiliation among PAH and IRMC and also included Clarion Hospital as the three facilities explored opportunity to more closely collaborate in an increasingly challenging health care marketplace.  In October 2019, IRMC and PAH executed a letter of intent to proceed with forming a common governance and management team to more effectively provide health care services to the patients in the hospital’s multi county service area.  Separately that year, Clarion Hospital withdrew from PMCN and elected to formally merge with the Butler Health System to further capitalize on numerous clinical affiliations in existence between those hospitals.  The organizations have carefully planned a business model over the ensuing year that will preserve and enhance care for patients as well as institutional viability and relevance in today’s competitive health care arena.

The definitive agreement outlines how the Hospitals will continue to operate as two Pennsylvania licensed community operated, not for profit hospitals. The change is in their corporate and governance structures which includes a consolidation and sharing of the executive management of the two organizations.  With this agreement, Punxsutawney Area Hospital will be receiving a significant six-year capital commitment from PMCN. This commitment will be utilized to increase PAH’s ability to purchase property, obtain plant and equipment as well as invest in a large-scale infrastructure improvement project to update its emergency and outpatient service offerings.

Neither hospital will experience a name change, consolidation of its medical staffs or employees. It is anticipated that opportunities will be identified where sharing of physician and employee talent will benefit both parties and ultimately the patient communities they serve.
PAH Chief Executive officer Daniel Blough noted; “As the Covid 19 pandemic unfolded in 2020, both hospitals had to quickly adapt to new ways of providing safe, effective and efficient care such as telemedicine applications, sharing of resources and in some cases “novel work from home” strategies all of which confirmed the benefits of working together and for the common good. Sharing our resources through this crisis facilitated by technology has enabled the Hospitals to put their best talents forward to help each other, a trend that will continue as we bring best management and clinical practices in place to both campuses. “

In the new organizational model of PMCN, there will be one governance authority populated initially be representatives of the former Board of Directors of the respective hospitals who will oversee the operation of both hospitals and their related subsidiaries.   Current IRMC Chief Executive Officer Stephen Wolfe will serve as President and CEO of the combined entity supported by the current executive team at PAH.  Wolfe remarked: “We are excited to formally partner with PAH with whom who we have enjoyed a twenty-year relationship as we together cared for residents of Indiana and Jefferson County.  It is testament to the commitment of the Board of Directors, medical staff, management team and employees at PAH who have so capably not only ushered PAH through such tumultuous times as an independent hospital but thrived time and again with excellent clinical, patient satisfaction and financial outcomes.   We will continue to do great things together “. Blough added: “The Punxsutawney and Indiana communities have long shared   common strengths in commerce, finance, education and now embark on a new chapter in health care.  We look forward to an excellent relationship with our colleagues in Indiana who have a steadfast commitment in preserving access to local health care while supporting small town community values.   Citing as one example, Blough noted that the new partnership with IRMC was critical in the restoration of local oncology care enabled through an existing partnering relationship IRMC enjoyed with the world renowned UPMC Hillman Cancer Centers that is now in operation at both Hospitals.  “We are determined to preserve our community’s access to high quality, cost effective primary care services and expand where feasible expanded access to specialized services.   I am thankful that we have had excellent stewardship of this Hospital through the years by the community elected Board of Directors and medical staff, who never lost sight of that objective and mission. These directors continue to remain   diligent and engaged in evaluating our best options for continued long term success and have navigated us capably into a relationship with IRMC with whom we have built strong trust over the years based on core common shared values.”

For more information on PAH and IRMC please visit:
www.pah.org and www.indianaremc.org.