Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center partnering with Crouse Health in Syracuse
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 9:11 am

OGDENSBURG -- Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center (CHMC) will partner with Crouse Health in Syracuse in the hopes of “providing better health care quality and access to Northern New Yorkers,” officials said in a press announcement.

Under the affiliations, CHMC will continue to operate as an independent, separately licensed community-based hospital and maintain its existing board governance structure. Additionally, each partner will continue singular responsibility for assets, operations, liabilities and budget. Labor agreements between each institution and its professional unions are unaffected.

Carthage Area Hospital and River Hospital joined along with Claxton-Hepburn.

The agreement allows the three Northern New York hospitals to develop strong professional and clinical relationships between one another and Crouse Health in Syracuse. The affiliations do not represent a merger or acquisition, but instead will allow each institution to strengthen patient services and share best practices and expertise.

“Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is committed to sustaining and enhancing the services we provide to our community,” CHMC CEONate Howell said in a prepared statement. “An affiliation with Crouse Health, further backed by Northwell Health, will provide the tools we will need to successfully navigate upcoming health care challenges. Furthermore, I am excited that this partnership will further align CHMC with Carthage and River Hospitals, as it will enable us to tailor efforts for the North Country as a region.”

“Crouse Health is proud to be affiliating with Carthage Area Hospital, Claxton-Hepburn Hospital and River Hospital to enhance access to health care services in the North Country. Crouse shares many of the same attributes as these hospitals, including similar missions, open and transparent cultures and a focus on physician and employee engagement,” Crouse CEO Kimberly Boynton said in the release.

Through the affiliations, patients will gain access to specialized care and physicians throughout Northern New York. They will be able to see specialists from the hospitals participating in the agreement when needed, either in the hospital, in physicians’ offices or through advanced telemedicine, which will be supported through Crouse Health’s affiliation with Northwell Health. This will enable quality diagnosis and treatment while eliminating unnecessary travel time or delays for patients in the North Country.

The four institutions involved in the affiliations have a history of collaboration with each other and across the region. Such approaches are considered an important part of the future of health care, the news release said.

In 2015, River Hospital and Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center entered into a cooperative agreement to affiliate. Like the agreement announced today, the arrangement “protects and enhances each organization’s respective mission, enhances the quality of services, increases efficiencies and lowers the cost of health care delivery in the St. Lawrence River region,” officials said in the announcement.

Carthage and Claxton-Hepburn obstetrics departments already partner with Crouse Health to provide perinatal and neonatal intensive care through Crouse’s regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and status as a Regional Perinatal Center. Because of this partnership, many Carthage and Claxton-Hepburn infants are treated in Crouse’s NICU every year.

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 115-bed community hospital. Claxton-Hepburn includes 67 acute-care beds, a 10-bed intensive care unit, a 10-bed birthing center, and a 28-bed mental health center.

CHMC provides primary care and regional services. It is the largest employer in Ogdensburg and one of the largest employers in St. Lawrence County with nearly 800 employees. Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center has an active medical staff of more than 50 physicians representing most specialties.

Regional and countywide services include radiation and medical oncology provided by the Richard E. Winter Cancer Center, dialysis treatment provided by the Dr. Ravinder N. Agarwal Renal Center, the Rev. Thomas T. Patterson Wound Healing Center, and a robotics surgery program.