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Southern Regional, Emory Healthcare move forward with letter of intent

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Vince Dollard

The Southern Regional Health System and Emory Healthcare, Inc., moved a step closer toward a working relationship today with an agreement to enter into negotiations for Emory to manage Southern Regional and to integrate the Riverdale, Ga., health system into its health care network. The preliminary agreement also includes potential for future collaboration with some of Emory University's health-related education programs. 

"With this letter of intent, we commit to ensuring a strong and viable health care presence in the Southern Crescent by working with Emory on formalizing a management agreement," said Jim Crissey, president and CEO of Southern Regional. "Having accomplished that task, it is our intent to participate in Emory's Clinically Integrated Network in the Southern Crescent. This will not only further the clinical and operational objectives of both organizations, but will enhance the future for quality health care in the Southern Crescent," adds Crissey.

"We will work diligently with Southern Regional to formalize a management agreement and to integrate Southern Regional into our clinical network," said John Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare. "When an agreement is reached, it will establish Southern Regional as a hospital partner in the Emory Clinically Integrated Network in the Southern Crescent area."

The agreement reached as of today, although nonbinding, commits the two health systems to enter into good-faith negotiations toward a management agreement and also outlines the structure of an affiliation between the two health systems:

  • Southern Regional's quality programs would blend with Emory's, and Emory would work on implementation of its quality programs and initiatives at Southern Regional.
  • Southern Regional's quality, financial and operational direction would be established with guidance from Emory Healthcare.
  • Emory Healthcare would strengthen physician partnerships and its presence in the Southern Crescent, while increasing access for patients. 

Crissey cited Emory Healthcare's commitment to high quality care, strong local presence, proven financial strength and solid reputation as deciding factors in Southern Regional's Board of Directors' decision to move forward with Emory.

"Our board is confident that Emory's mission aligns closely with our own and our shared values will help us to form a successful partnership," said CEO Crissey.  "Most importantly, a partnership with Emory Healthcare will preserve access to high quality care for the communities we serve," he said. "Our goal is clear: To ensure that Southern Regional remains in this community and continues to provide vital medical care to its citizens."

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