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Valley Medical, UW Medicine to explore strategic alliance
Valley Medical Center commissioners late Tuesday afternoon decided unanimously to move forward with carefully investigating a strategic alliance with UW Medicine.
The alliance, if eventually formed late this spring, would enhance medical services and bring new ones to the residents of Public Hospital District 1, who would continue to own the hospital.
The strategic alliance is not a merger of the two medical institutions. However, Valley Medical would become part of UW Medicine, which also includes Harborview Hospital and the University of Washington Medical Center.
The board's 5-0 vote came after a presentation by Paul Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine at the University of Washington.
Like Valley CEO Rich Roodman, who presented the alliance recommendation to the board last week, Ramsey said the two medical institutions share a common mission – to improve the health of the public.
UW Medicine operates the largest medical schools by geography in the nation, if not the world, Ramsey said. It brings care, teaching and research to five states, in a variety of partnerships.
"This is what we're all about: partnering to improve health," he told Valley's board and a large audience gathered to hear him. Those who spoke, including doctors from almost all of Valley's medical divisions and elected officials, unanimously favored moving forward with the investigation or the alliance itself.
Loud applause broke out after the board approved the non-binding letter of intent.
Now, through May 31, the two medical institutions will carefully weigh the alliance and work out the details before voting on final approval.
The community also will have a chance to weigh in on the strategic alliance at meetings that are being scheduled.