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Valley Health Restructures Its Governance

Regional Not-for-Profit Consolidates Oversight to Advance Consistent Service and Quality

Winchester, VA, May 10, 2016 -- The Valley Health System Board of Trustees announced today that the boards of its four Virginia hospitals -- Page Memorial Hospital, Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, Warren Memorial Hospital and Winchester Medical Center -- will be consolidated with the Valley Health Board into one governing body effective June, 2016. The governance and management of Valley Health’s two West Virginia hospitals, Hampshire Memorial Hospital and War Memorial Hospital, were consolidated under one Board in 2014 and will not be impacted.

In 2013, Valley Health completed a five-year strategic plan that included the study, development and implementation of a more effective governance structure in response to dramatic changes in health care delivery and financing. It had become clear to the various boards, medical staffs, and management leadership that change was needed in order to operate more effectively as one organization, using standardized protocols, and delivering reliably consistent care in every location. The Boards of Trustees of Valley Health and the four Virginia hospitals approved the streamlining plan in late 2015.

The reorganization will be beneficial in several ways, according to Valley Health System President and CEO Mark H. Merrill. “First and foremost, the restructuring will support our goal to create a world-class patient experience that is consistent from one Valley Health hospital to the next,” he explains. Standardized care is crucial as healthcare transitions to outcomes-based performance and reimbursement. Consistency also reduces risk and improves service quality. “Board consolidation will improve System-wide ‘line of sight’” Merrill continues, “creating clear and visible links between Valley Health goals and objectives and System initiatives to achieve desired outcomes in our mission to be a high reliability organization.” Leaders are confident the reorganization will also increase accountability, operational efficiencies and medical staff alignment.

Membership and responsibilities of the reconfigured Board conform to requirements of The Joint Commission, the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), the Internal Revenue Service and other mandated guidelines for hospitals and not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations. The Valley Health Board of Trustees will be supported by a Community Advisory Council (CAC) and a Quality and Medical Affairs Committee (QMAC), which will provide additional oversight of Valley Health’s quality, safety, patient satisfaction and performance improvement activities, and community service.

“This reorganization will streamline management and governance of Valley Health and allow us to deliver care more effectively and efficiently to our patients and community,” notes Board Chairman Joseph Silek. “Valley Health management will remain closely connected to community leadership. The reorganization was intentionally structured to include an active Community Advisory Council to ensure a high degree of responsiveness to local and regional interests.”

Community Advisory Council (CAC): The CAC will serve as a liaison between the VHS Board and local communities served by Valley Health hospitals, providing feedback and input to the Board. The CAC will be structured to represent Valley Health’s diverse service area, with initial membership recommendations coming from the four standing hospital boards.

Quality and Medical Affairs Committee (QMAC): The QMAC will serve as a committee of the VHS Board and will consist of trustees, physicians and other representatives from across the system. Its role will be to coordinate System-wide medical leadership, serve as a forum for quality and credentialing, and develop processes to monitor and address healthcare quality, performance improvement and infection control.

“As always, our priority is to provide high quality, safe health care for our patients and the communities we are privileged to serve,” adds Merrill. “The demands of the evolving healthcare environment require strategic management, corporate nimbleness and operational efficiency, especially as hospitals and hospital systems strive to balance first-rate patient care while maintaining fiscal stability. I applaud the tremendous leadership of the boards of Valley Health System and our four Virginia hospitals for their forward-thinking embrace of this model as we work together to meet the new demands of health care through the reorganization of Valley Health’s governance structure. These leaders have embraced change and Valley Health will be stronger because of their foresight and vision.”

The following individuals will serve on the restructured Valley Health System Board of Trustees:

  • Joseph F. Silek, Jr. - Chair
  • Patrick D. Ireland, MD - Vice Chair
  • Thomas T. Gilpin - Secretary
  • Steven E. Cluss
  • James W. Freilich, MD
  • Sherif Z. Kaiser, MD
  • Douglas B. Keim, MD
  • Jim Long
  • Mark H. Merrill, President and CEO
  • James K. Nashed, MD
  • Faith B. Power
  • Mary Beth Price
  • Clifton L. “Kip” Rutherford
  • Jeffrey A. Skiles, MD
  • Harry S. Smith
  • Audrea H. Wynn, MD
  • At-Large Physician TBD

About Valley Health

Valley Health, based in Winchester, VA, is a not-for-profit health system serving a population of more than 450,000 in northwest Virginia, West Virginia’s eastern panhandle, and western Maryland. Valley Health includes six hospitals: Winchester Medical Center, a 445-bed regional referral center; Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal, Va.; Shenandoah Memorial Hospital in Woodstock, Va.; Page Memorial Hospital in Luray, Va.; Hampshire Memorial Hospital in Romney, W.Va.; and War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Additional services include physician practices, regional medical transport, a retail pharmacy and Urgent Care centers in three communities. Visit


Carol Weare, Public Relations Manager
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