Butler Health System and The Ellwood City Hospital Sign Management Agreement

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Today the Boards of Trustees of The Ellwood City Hospital (ECH) and Butler Health System (BHS) announced that they have entered into a 5-year Management and Collaborative Initiatives Agreement. Under the agreement, Ray Beck, ECH President & CEO, will become a member of the BHS executive team. Mr. Beck will continue to have primary responsibility for The Ellwood City Hospital. ECH will maintain its Board of Trustees and governance structure.

Ken DeFurio, BHS President & CEO, said, “The Board of Trustees at ECH decided that it wanted a strategic partner. ECH faces the same uncertain and difficult future that challenges Butler Memorial Hospital and all U.S. hospitals. After a period of due diligence, our organizations decided that there is an excellent cultural fit, and both organizations are committed to working together to improve upon existing foundations of high quality and solid financial performance. This is proof that in these turbulent times it is possible for independent community providers to come together, work collaboratively, and do it with mutual respect – all for the betterment of the communities they serve.”

Mr. Beck said, “I look forward to working with Ken and the Butler management team as we create a different model for hospital collaboration. This is an excellent opportunity for us to build upon existing relationships with physicians already providing care in both communities.”

Christy Spoa, ECH Board Chair said, “This agreement not only assures a collaborative effort in the overall delivery of care, but long term it should help to control costs. The Ellwood City Hospital looks forward to this relationship as ECH prepares to enter into its second century of delivering high quality care. I thank both boards and respective leadership for their efforts and vision.”

Fiore Londino, BHS Board Chair added, “We believe that in the era of national healthcare reform, the best way to deliver value is through local, collaborative relationships. ECH and BHS are confident that this relationship will prove to be a model for how community providers can and should work together.”

The agreement formally takes effect on July 1, 2012. Mr. Beck and Mr. DeFurio said the transition process between the two organizations has already started.