UPDATE: UAMS/St. Vincent merger details given to UA Board | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, April 4, 2013

UPDATE: UAMS/St. Vincent merger details given to UA Board

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 3:21 PM

The proposed combination of the University of Arkansas clinical operations at UAMS with St. Vincent Health was not on the agenda for today's University of Arkansas Board of Trustees meeting today in Monticello, but it turns out that a draft collaboration agreement was given to members of the board today.

UAMS has provided a copy of the so-called term sheet for the proposed "network" to us.

Here it is.

It remains somewhat hazy, particularly as to direct management responsibility for what are now two general service hospitals and whether those would continue in that form in the future.

It provides for shared support and some collaborative services (such as cancer and cardiology operations), plus potential new joint services. It also provides for each partner to operate independent services.

Both Parties may retain or develop separate programs and activities that are not part of the Network Collaboration (e.g., the UAMS School of Medicine’s basic science research enterprise, and the provision of certain services that may be restricted or prohibited in Catholic organizations). UAMS will continue to provide services needed by Arkansas communities, as determined under the leadership of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and UAMS executives and medical staff.

The Parties acknowledge that SVHS, as a Catholic organization, shall not be involved in any way in certain services or activities in any way. UAMS shall not impose unacceptable requirements on SVHS, and SVHS conversely shall not restrict the services that UAMS can provide outside of and apart from the Network Collaboration. In this way, each organization will continue to be faithful to its mission, values, and the needs of its respective community.

I've yet to see addressed the question of equal benefits and employment protection for employees providing shared services that will in effect be supported by public taxpayers.

It calls for a governing board comprised of 50-50 representation from each organization. This, St. Vincent board member Baker Kurrus said recently, could potentially be problematic because it gives no way to decide a close question. The term sheet provides a mediation procedure for disputes, ultimately decided by a five-member group including one neutral, independent member.

The two parties will maintain ownership of respective buildings and contribute equal amounts of capital. A key element does seem to build a platform to grow the medical operation beyond its existing size in one unit that could bring some efficiency to purchasing and administration. A statewide organization is contemplated.

Noted in the draft, written by a law firm, the intent to:

Provide world-class care to communities throughout Arkansas, and do so in a manner that is accessible, responsive, and respectful of the dignity of the individual human being.

The current Arkansas legislature comes to mind immediately at the mention of "human being." The words are debated in the political, religious and scientific context, particularly in a blended operation with institutions that hold different views on providing service related to in vitro fertilization, contraception, conception ability of male and female, abortion, treatment of pregnant and potentially pregnant women and more.

UPDATE: I have UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn's memo to staff about the first draft. He emphasizes it's a first draft. It mentions, too, the budget problems being faced by the institution ( he didn't say, but I will, thanks to a legislature concerned more with fetuses, women's vagina and tax cuts than services for children already here. Read on:

Dear UAMS Family,

In our ongoing exploration of a possible strategic alliance with St. Vincent Health System (SVHS), today at the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees meeting in Monticello we shared a first draft of an agreement our lawyers prepared regarding how this alliance might work.

I want to emphasize that this is only a first draft and is intended to be a starting point as we consider such an affiliation.

Be assured that UAMS and SVHS would continue to be governed independently. The Network Collaboration would focus on shared support services, collaborative clinical support services, and consolidated clinical services in such areas as cancer and cardiovascular care.

Also at this Board of Trustees meeting, we talked about continuing uncertainties that prompted us to consider this alliance in the first place. Federal budget cuts, uncertainties regarding state policies and funding and the desire to simultaneously improve patient care quality and reduce costs all must be considered in our strategies for the future. A possible collaboration could enable us to share certain operational, support and administrative services to save costs and improve efficiency while still supporting the delivery of the world-class care for which UAMS is known.

As I have said before, I want there to be transparency in this process. The draft document on possible terms for a UAMS/SVHS agreement is posted here. Please feel free to review it if you are interested in this continued discussion. Thank you for your work on behalf of the people of Arkansas.

Dan Rahn, M.D.
UAMS Chancellor

Tags: , , ,


Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Obamacare's ruin: Where are the boastful press releases from Arkansas Republicans?

    Silence so far from Republican politicians such as Leslie Rutledge on achievement of their long-stated dream, death to the Affordable Care Act. Could that be because most people now understand what a good thing President Obama did with its passage?
    • Dec 15, 2018
  • Entergy demolishes old power plant near Stamps

    Entergy, the state's largest electric utility, yesterday used explosives to destroy the major parts of its closed Couch Plant near Stamps, which dated to 1943 and was designed to burn fuel oil or gas at two generating units. Named for power company founder Harvey Couch, it's been out of commission since 2013.
    • Dec 15, 2018
  • City Board to consider enriched retirement for retiring Mayor Mark Stodola

    The Little Rock City Board agenda for its last meeting of the year Tuesday includes, as expected, a vote on an ordinance that will significantly sweeten retiring Mayor Mark Stodola's retirement and apply to future mayors as well. The agenda, however, carries no mention of resolution of his claim for an estimated $173,000 in pay for unused vacation and leave time.
    • Dec 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Trump tariffs hit farmers hard

    Well, the trade war has begun and the early returns for farmers are not good — sharp reductions in the prices for soybeans and corn. You may have heard that Arkansas, which overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump, has some agricultural interests, particularly in soybeans.
    • Jul 6, 2018
  • Police identify two women found fatally shot on Chicot Road

    Little Rock police have identified two women found dead of gunshot wounds in an SUV parked next to a vacant trailer in a mobile home park at 11500 Chicot Road.
    • May 16, 2017


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation