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A letter regarding the hospital merger

by Rushton,Jeff last modified Jul 21, 2011 06:10 PM


From the desk of Jim Ramsey

UofL Hospital Merger

July 21, 2011

Dear Friends of UofL,

The University of Louisville just wrapped up another successful academic/fiscal year. In fact, our Board of Trustees met on July 13th for its annual retreat. The Board’s retreat -- normally a day and a half -- completed 16 hours in one day. We started at 9:30 a.m. on campus and ended at 1:30 a.m. at UPS Worldport, seeing our Metropolitan College partnership program in action.

During the retreat, the Board does its annual evaluation of the University’s Senior Leadership. The Board established 27 goals for us for last year, and I am pleased to report we achieved all 27. These include increasing the number of baccalaureate and Ph.D. degrees, increasing our graduation rate, increasing research funding, increasing philanthropic giving, etc. Details of all 27 goals are provided at the following link:

Yesterday we broke ground for a new building in our Downtown Research Park – this building will house many of our start-up businesses that come from our research program at the University of Louisville. It also will be the home of Innovate LTC – the business start-up component of Signature HealthCare – a long-term health care company we helped to recruit to Louisville from South Florida. Next month we will cut the ribbon on Cardinal Town, a residential community and retail center at the old Masterson’s property. In early fall we will break ground on a new $38.4M Student Recreation Center. We’ll also watch as our partner, the Speed Art Museum, begins its $62M expansion, and we will complete an addition to the College of Business.

September 13th will be a special day for us. We will name the business school building in honor of Harry Frazier. On the 13th we will host our Fall convocation and State of the University address. Lots going on.

I also wanted to update you on the merger of the UofL Hospital, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare, and St. Joseph’s Healthcare System of Lexington to create a new academic medical center. We’ve been working on this proposal for two years, and the respective boards of each of the organizations approved a strategic agreement in June. We’ve filed for Federal Trade Commission approval. There have been, however, some reports that have not shared complete information as it affects the provision of future health care services in our community. A copy of our complete communication to the campus community is available at the following link:
Merger facts

To summarize key points:

1. The merger involves the University of Louisville Hospital – a separate 501c3 organization that has never been “controlled” by the University of Louisville. The state constructed the Hospital around the time the University of Louisville came into the state postsecondary education system. Humana Health Care and later HCA managed the hospital for a decade or so. A state change in management produced a consortium of health care providers, including Norton and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Hospital, managing the hospital for another decade or so. Only within the last three years has the UofL Hospital had its own community-based hospital board, a majority of board members represent the community not the university.

2. The University of Louisville School of Medicine is not nor has ever been part of the merger.

3. Hospitals are buildings – facilities where health care services are provided by health care professionals. In this day and age, health care professionals provide health care services in ambulatory care facilities, outpatient facilities, and the latest trend – grocery stores, drug stores, etc. It is the University of Louisville’s faculty and staff who will continue to provide the services in the future that have been provided in the past at these hospitals. The location for the provision of some services may be different. Dean Edward Halperin, when the statewide announcement of the merger occurred, said:
  • We will continue to provide a full range of reproductive health services to the men and women of this region.
  • We will continue to remain a fully accredited medical school.
  • We will continue to have a fully accredited OB/GYN program.

Recent reporting has led some to believe that the University of Louisville may back off of these commitments. We will not!

We will continue to move forward aggressively with the University of Louisville’s Capital Campaign. At its summer retreat the Board of Trustees increased our campaign goal from $750M to $1B.

We will continue to implement the 2020 Plan and the goals our Board of Trustees set for us to assure our place among the truly premier universities in the country.

Thank you for your loyal support and friendship.


Jim Ramsey Signature
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