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Decatur Memorial Hospital / Memorial Health System Affiliation FAQs

1. What is happening?
We’re pleased to announce Decatur Memorial Hospital (DMH) has signed an affiliation agreement with Memorial Health System (MHS). This affiliation will help to enhance healthcare services across the region and ensure DMH can continue its commitment to provide the highest quality healthcare to the people of Decatur and central Illinois.

2. Why did DMH decide to join MHS (rather than HSHS or another system or stay independent)?

  • DMH and MHS chose to affiliate with each other. DMH and MHS already have a strong and trusted relationship – and this latest step is a natural extension of this relationship.
  • MHS is a proven healthcare leader with national recognition in patient outcomes, quality and safety, nursing, stroke care and more. This alignment allows us the opportunity to have seamless integration with a neighboring, like-minded health system that will ultimately expand our patients’ access to the latest in healthcare.

3. How does this benefit the community?
Healthcare as we know it continues to transform, which is why it is important for us to be on the forefront of navigating these changes. By becoming part of MHS, we give our patients access to more resources, innovative practices and technology, all while working to lower costs. DMH and MHS believe the proposed affiliation will benefit the residents of central Illinois by creating a comprehensive, regional integrated healthcare system. The affiliation will allow each organization to improve its population-healthcare management capabilities to better meet the healthcare needs of the patient populations served.

4. Will the patient services that DMH currently provides change after the affiliation?
MHS is committed to maintaining a regional presence in the Decatur and central Illinois area. This affiliation with MHS will provide the organizational structure for DMH to clinically integrate and align its clinical service lines and trauma services with MHS. This affiliation will provide for greater operational efficiencies, as well as collaboration and best-practice sharing among physicians, clinical, support and administrative teams, with the goal to improve patient care and safety outcomes.

5. Is this agreement finalized? If not, what are the next steps/milestones?
Both DMH & MHS Boards have approved the affiliation agreement. The affiliation must be approved by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board and other regulatory agencies and will be subject to the other customary closing conditions. The agreement is expected to be complete by October 1, 2019.

6. What will this likely new arrangement mean for employees, medical staff, patients and the community?
Once the affiliation is approved, DMH will become the second-largest hospital in MHS. DMH will continue to keep its Level II Trauma status and create stronger ties to the services available at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. Additionally, the shared system services and expanded physician groups and specialties will provide our patients and the community with exceptional quality, as well as more choices and access. For our employees and medical staff, this arrangement offers an opportunity for growth across a system level.

7. Is this an acquisition, affiliation or merger?/What kind of transaction is this?
Once approved, DMH will become an affiliate/part of MHS

8. How and when will changes be communicated to patients?
This affiliation will bring many patient benefits, including improved quality, access and cost over time. DMH will have patient information available on its medical campus and physician offices.

9. Why didn’t this happen earlier/why now?
After a period of ongoing discussions, exploration and analysis, both MHS and DMH felt this was the right time to come together and continue to invest in our community and the region.

10. What will the new organizational structure look like for MHS and DMH?
Now that the affiliation agreement has been signed, the parties will create an integration task force consisting of members from both organizations. This task force will develop and recommend to the DMH and MHS boards the plans, strategies, priorities and time tables for post-closing integration of DMH into MHS. All recommendations from the task force must be approved by both boards.

11. Will DMH retain local leadership/governance?

  • Yes. As an MHS affiliate, DMH will maintain local governance and leadership. DMH also will maintain a local community board of directors, similar to the other MHS affiliate hospitals
  • Day-to-day DMH operations will be managed by an executive team at DMH. The DMH board also will have directors on the MHS board.

12. Will employed physicians remain in the same locations?
MHS is committed to having a regional presence in Decatur and we anticipate minimal changes – if any – regarding clinic locations.

13. Can you tell me more about MHS?

  • One of the leading healthcare organizations in Illinois, MHS in Springfield is a community-based, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to patient care, education and research.
  • Its nearly 7,100 staff members, 900 partnering physicians and hundreds of volunteers are dedicated to improving the health of the communities they have served since 1897. In a year, MHS serves an average of more than 40,000 inpatients, more than 667,000 outpatients and more than 125,000 patients in its four Emergency Departments. The MHS team is highly skilled, has a passion for excellence and is dedicated to providing a great patient experience for every patient every time.
  • MHS facilities and affiliates include Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville, Taylorville Memorial Hospital, Memorial Physician Services, Memorial Behavioral Health and Memorial Home Services.
  • Memorial Health System has strong clinical ties to SIU Medicine and Springfield Clinic, partnering with both practices in patient care, research, clinical simulations, and quality and safety innovation. In addition, Memorial Medical Center is a primary teaching hospital for SIU Medicine.
  • Memorial’s recent recognitions include:
    • In 2016, Memorial Medical Center became the only hospital in Illinois to be awarded the prestigious American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize. The award is presented to one hospital in the nation each year.
    • Memorial Medical Center and Passavant Area Hospital are in the top 3 percent of hospitals nationwide to have earned three consecutive Magnet® designations, recognizing the quality of its nursing staff. Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital has recently become one of only two hospitals in the state of Illinois to achieve the Pathway to Excellence® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
    • In 2017, Memorial Health System received a global award from the International Hospital Federation for its efforts to improve quality and safety using the Lean Six Sigma approach.
    • Memorial Medical Center is designated by The Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, one of only 10 hospitals in Illinois to earn this certification.
    • Memorial Health System has five-fold accreditations for rehabilitation services by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
    • Memorial Health System received a LearningElite gold award from Chief Learning Officer magazine.
    • Memorial Health System has been honored as an Employer of Choice.