August 13, 2012

Cookeville Regional Medical Center and Vanderbilt University Medical Center announce affiliation agreement

Leaders with Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) today announced an affiliation agreement which formalizes collaborative relationships between the two institutions.  The affiliation agreement creates significant opportunities for both parties to work together to expand the scope of health care services in Putnam County and the Upper Cumberland Region.

We are pleased to announce our affiliation with Vanderbilt,” said Menachem Langer, M.D., MBA, Chief Executive Officer for Cookeville Regional Medical Center. “This new partnership allows us to expand access to health services and resources for residents in the Upper Cumberland.  It does not, however, change ownership or management of Cookeville Regional.  That remains the same.

“Vanderbilt is a natural partner for Cookeville Regional.  They are well respected and recognized as a leader in health care by the residents of our region and have a reputation of high quality and innovative health care.  We are excited about the possibilities for growth and expansion for our medical center as a result of this affiliation with one of the nation’s leading health care providers.”

This affiliation agreement puts into place the immediate ability to form new programs to be shared between CRMC and VUMC.

“Our relationship with Cookeville Regional Medical Center is a strong and natural collaboration for Vanderbilt. Our missions are alike in that we are both nonprofit providers who strive to serve the health needs for a broader population throughout the region,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., Deputy Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System. “We are delighted for the opportunity to formalize relationships with colleagues at CRMC. We believe the citizens of Cookeville, Putnam County and the Upper Cumberland Region, along with the faculty and staff of both medical centers, will benefit greatly from an enhanced level of integrated care, ultimately making a significant contribution to health care delivery throughout the region.”

While each party remains free to continue to pursue individual initiatives, the affiliation agreement provides the necessary structure for CRMC and VUMC to form collaborative relationships that will create more efficient, cost-effective patient care through new programs and services. 

“While this agreement focuses on the creation of programs with colleagues at CRMC, we are also appreciative for the opportunity for Vanderbilt’s faculty to continue to strengthen relationships with physicians providing outstanding health care within the Upper Cumberland Region,” said Pinson.

The affiliation agreement immediately creates opportunities for CRMC and VUMC to create Joint Centers of Excellence, educational programs, clinical research collaborations and engage in the development of new information technology tools.

Further, the agreement immediately creates a pathway for the two institutions to formally collaborate on a broad range of clinical services including: trauma care, neurology and neuro-intervention, rheumatology, pediatrics, neonatology and other highly specialized fields of medicine.

“Research advancements and increasingly sophisticated technology are causing changes to occur rapidly within health care. At the same time, changes brought about by federal and state health care reform place increasing importance on the creation of innovative models to efficiently and effectively coordinate health care delivery across broad populations,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “Our affiliation with CRMC creates a tremendous positive for both parties, serving as a forward-thinking approach to relationships between community-based providers and large tertiary referral centers as we work together to address changes occurring across health care’s continuum.”

 “Because of uncertainties in today’s health care environment, more and more independent hospitals are exploring options to join with others,” said Langer. “With health care reform, it is imperative that we take steps to secure our position so that we may continue our mission to provide high quality health care now and into the future.  The Vanderbilt affiliation allows us to jointly strategize and develop new initiatives and programs in our region to do just that.  We look forward to our partnership and the possibilities that lie ahead as a result.  We have a solid foundation to build upon for the future.”

Cookeville Regional Medical Center is an award-winning, state-of-the-art 247-bed regional medical center that serves the entire 14-county Upper Cumberland Region and employs a staff of 2,000, with more than 200 physicians and other providers on its medical staff representing 40 medical and surgical specialties. CRMC is the recipient of numerous awards and was recognized in 2012 from HealthGrades for a broad array of services including: coronary intervention, overall cardiac services, treatment of heart attack, vascular surgery, orthopaedic surgery and spine surgery. CRMC was also ranked No. 2 in the state for patient safety by Consumer Reports in 2012.

CRMC recently purchased Cumberland River Hospital in Celina, Tenn., thereby increasing its regional presence in the Upper Cumberland.  In addition, CRMC houses a 32-bed behavioral health hospital opening this summer.  Last fiscal year CRMC provided more than $23 million in uncompensated and charity care.  CRMC is the leading provider of health care services to the people of the Upper Cumberland Region.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is home to Vanderbilt University Hospital, The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital and the Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital. These hospitals experienced more than 57,000 inpatient admissions during fiscal year 2012. Vanderbilt’s adult and pediatric outpatient clinics treated more than 1.6 million patients during this same period.

With the addition of Cumberland Regional Medical Center, VUMC is affiliated with a growing family of like-minded, nonprofit medical centers geographically encompassing much of Middle Tennessee. Other affiliates include: Maury Regional Medical Center, NorthCrest Medical Center and Williamson Medical Center. All institutions share a common mission to serve the health care needs for the citizens of Middle Tennessee.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s biomedical research program has earned its place among the nation’s top 10 academic medical centers in terms of public and private research funding, and is the recipient of more than $450 million in research support. Fulfilling its mission of service to the region as a nonprofit academic medical center, VUMC provided $371 million in uncompensated care during fiscal year 2012.

Vanderbilt University Hospital was recognized again this year by U.S. News & World Report magazine’s Best Hospitals rankings with 11 nationally ranked specialty programs. The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is one of the nation’s premier pediatric hospitals with 10 pediatric specialty programs ranked among the nation’s best this year by U.S. News & World Report.