Daily News

Noble Hospital to Explore Affiliating with Baystate Health

SPRINGFIELD, WESTFIELD — The boards of trustees of Noble Hospital and Baystate Health have authorized the organizations to sign a letter of intent to explore Noble becoming a member of Baystate Health.

Noble’s potential affiliation with Baystate Health now enters a period of review and due diligence within the organizations and in partnership with the relevant regulatory and oversight bodies. This work is expected to occur over the next several months. In the meantime, it will be operations as usual for both organizations.

“I believe the brightest future for Noble, our employees, our patients, and our community lies in partnership with a high-quality and well-integrated academic health network such as Baystate Health,” said Ronald Bryant, president and CEO of Noble Health Network, which includes Noble Hospital, Noble Medical Group, and Noble Visiting Nurse and Hospice. “We look forward to advancing our discussions to determine the best course forward for Noble and for our community.”

Dr. Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health, noted that “we have worked closely with Noble and its team of caregivers for a long time, and we recognize the excellent quality of care and compassion they provide to their patients. Given our common commitments to high-quality and high-value care, I share with our board members a strong belief that this potential partnership would serve the missions of both organizations and the needs of our communities.”

Added Bryant, “we at Noble also recognize that independent community hospitals like ours face major challenges in our current healthcare environment. This potential new relationship would secure the viability of Westfield’s acute-care hospital and at the same time support our efforts to increase the coordination and value of the healthcare provided in our communities.”

Baystate and Noble have a history of working together, and this new partnership would be building on existing relationships, including referral relationships in which Noble’s providers already refer a significant number of patients to Baystate. Baystate Reference Laboratories provides clinical diagnostic services in partnership with Noble, which also maintains its own on-site lab services and Blood Donor Center.

Baystate and Noble also work together (with other providers) in a regional heart-attack program that expedites life-saving emergency angioplasty cases to Baystate Medical Center, the region’s designated angioplasty center, with support from community partners such as Noble and EMS. In addition, Baystate and Noble collaborate on telemedicine for stroke patients and women’s services.

“Delivering high-quality, cost-effective services in the communities where our patients live is a fundamental part of Baystate Health’s strategy,” said Dennis Chalke, senior vice president of Community Hospitals for Baystate Health. “We look forward to getting to know the Noble organization better and exploring ways we could work together to allow our patients to receive high-value health services as close to home as possible.”

Robert Bacon, chair of the Noble Hospital board of trustees, noted, “for more than 100 years, Westfield and its surrounding communities have always received outstanding care from Noble Hospital. This potential relationship with Baystate Health would be a significant step forward in continuing that legacy and providing even higher-quality and better-coordinated care to our patients.”

Added James Sadowsky, chair of the Baystate Health board of trustees, “as we begin to consider the addition of Noble to the Baystate Health family, we have our organizations’ missions and our obligations to our communities at the very top of our minds. Every consideration in this process begins with the question: does this improve care for patients and families? We’ll take that question very seriously throughout. I’m optimistic that, at the end of the due-diligence process, we’ll find that there are opportunities for us to strengthen healthcare for our region, our community, our patients, and both Noble and Baystate.”

Noble has about 750 employees, who would join Baystate Health’s team of 11,500 across Western Mass.

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