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Valley Health and Winchester Cardiology and Vascular Medicine Expand Partnership to Enhance Heart Services and Patient Access

Valley Health and Winchester Cardiology and Vascular Medicine Expand Partnership to Enhance Heart Services and Patient Access

Valley Health System and the area’s largest cardiology practice, Winchester Cardiology & Vascular Medicine, PC, have entered into a formal agreement to collaborate more closely to advance heart and vascular services, expand patient access to cardiovascular care in the region, and ensure quality, efficiency and patient experience. The agreement will take effect May 1, 2018.

“To accelerate innovation, maintain superiority as a destination for heart and vascular care, and increase access to cardiovascular care for our growing population, our leadership team recognized a need to expand the services and capabilities we offer to patients,” notes Valley Health President and CEO Mark H. Merrill. “I am pleased we have taken the next step in furthering our Heart & Vascular program through this strategic partnership with Winchester Cardiology and Vascular Medicine.”

The agreement builds on Winchester Medical Center’s decades-long collaboration with the practice’s cardiologists. Through closer engagement, Valley Health and WCVM leaders plan to accelerate the growth of advanced heart failure services, structural heart services, electrophysiology/advanced arrhythmia services, and advanced cardiac imaging, and expand physician access already provided at each Valley Health location. A major development which illustrates the promise of the new relationship is the opening of a cardiac catheterization lab at Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal, which will soon see its first patient. A stronger health system-practice relationship will boost physician recruitment so that additional top-tier cardiologists will join the practice and help meet the demand for heart specialty care.

“Valley Health has been building its cardiovascular program, in partnership with WCVM physicians, for nearly 40 years,” says Grady W. “Skip” Phillips, III, FACHE, Senior Vice President, Valley Health, and President, Winchester Medical Center. “We have a shared vision for advancing heart and vascular care, and this expanded relationship will help us continue to provide innovative destination services throughout the region.”

The agreement will also allow for an integrated approach to strengthen coordination of heart and vascular care across the continuum between the office practices, hospitals and post-acute care settings. By using tools such as shared electronic medical records, Valley Health and WCVM will be better able to foster efficiency in the delivery of care, improve patient health and enhance the quality of care.

“This arrangement with Valley Health will allow us to advance care for our patients and bring the most innovative cardiovascular services to the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding region,” says Trisha Nashed, MD, president, Winchester Cardiology and Vascular Medicine. “The mission of our practice is to provide excellent cardiovascular care and the highest quality service to our patients and referring physicians. Our strengthened partnership with Valley Health will enhance care for our patients and position us for the future.”

WCVM employs 100 staff, including 16 physicians and 6 advance practice clinicians who serve patients in Winchester, Martinsburg and six outreach clinics.

Valley Health and WCVM leaders describe their new relationship as “independent integration,” an arrangement which leaves the practice’s physician-driven governance intact, while offering greater strategic alignment with the region’s leading healthcare system.

Building on its history of “firsts” – including the region’s first cardiac catheterization lab in 1980, followed by open heart surgery in 1984, and a hybrid surgical suite for transcatheter aortic valve replacements and more in 2016 – Valley Health Winchester Medical Center continues to draw patients from the wider region for high quality care, closer to home.

“We pride ourselves on providing the most advanced and comprehensive cardiovascular care, tailored to the needs of each patient,” says cardiothoracic surgeon Basel Ramlawi, MD, chairman of Valley Health’s Heart & Vascular Center. “Having a closer strategic partnership with our largest cardiology practice will offer patients throughout the region better access to care that will improve their health and quality of life.”