Adventist Health Explores OHSU Affiliation

August 09, 2016

According to a joint statement released Aug. 9, Adventist Health, OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University) and OHSU Partners have signed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) to pursue an affiliation. If a final agreement is reached, the affiliation would integrate Adventist Health’s Portland-area clinical enterprise with OHSU’s clinical enterprise, under the direction of OHSU Partners. The parties to the LOI will now conduct due diligence with the intention of reaching a final agreement by the end of the year.

Following is a brief list of questions and answers directly related to potential concerns of Northwest Adventist members.

What opportunity is being considered?

Adventist Health, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and OHSU Partners (governed by Salem Health and OHSU) are exploring an affiliation and have each signed a non-binding letter of intent. This will be followed by a period of due diligence and further refinement of the details prior to any formal agreement.

What additional steps may be taken before any formal agreement?

The governing boards and management teams from OHSU, OHSU Partners and Adventist Health will conduct due diligence to explore the potential integration of clinical services and to finalize the ultimate structure of the affiliation. We hope to work through this process before the end of the calendar year.

How is an affiliation an advantage to Adventist Health?

In this increasingly complicated health care environment we believe there are great advantages in creating complementary partnerships in order to improve outcomes and health access. Adventist Health in Portland and other Adventist Health entities already have productive partnerships within the communities we serve. This opportunity is unique to the Portland metro area and provides the potential of increasing our effective reach into our served communities.

Will an affiliation compromise our long-valued Adventist Health mission?

We would never agree to anything that diminishes our commitment to demonstrate Jesus' healing ministry or the Adventist Health vision or values. Any affiliation we ultimately forge must allow Adventist Health’s unique faith-based culture to flourish stronger than ever. Our commitments to the health of our communities, and to a whole-person approach to our patients and our team members will not change.

Would our hospital change ownership?

In the suggested model, Adventist Medical Center and Adventist Health Medical Group in Portland would continue to be owned by the Adventist Health enterprise based out of Roseville, Calif. The affiliation would enable Adventist Health in Portland to become part of an integrated delivery system managed by OHSU Partners. OHSU Partners was created in 2015 as an affiliation model that allows the partner organizations to retain their own assets, while operating as an integrated health system to create greater value for patients. Adventist Health physicians and team members would continue to be employed by Adventist Health but would become part of the integrated delivery system operated by OHSU Partners. The Adventist Health Portland CEO would serve as a ‘site executive’ within this model, directing local operations and in collaboration with OHSU Partners.

Have Adventist Health and OHSU worked together before?

Yes. In fact, the success of our current collaborations is one reason we are optimistic about exploring this next step. For example, OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute and Adventist Health currently collaborate to deliver high-quality cancer care throughout the community. The organizations are already partners in a multi-organization effort to open the area’s first comprehensive behavioral health center, Unity Center for Behavioral Health. In addition, the organizations have two insurance-related collaborations. Our unique Adventist mission has been a positive part of these collaborative efforts and causes us to be confident in considering another level of cooperation.

Is this being considered because our Adventist Medical Center is in financial trouble?

No. Our organizations are financially stable. But as we look ahead, the competitive and rapidly changing health care environment in Oregon makes this affiliation attractive. It increases our potential to carry out our mission and to serve patients’ needs with integrated, accessible, safe, high-quality and cost-effective health care into the future. The complement of OHSU’s academic and research efforts with Adventist Health’s robust primary care and outpatient network makes sense for patients.

We know there are, and will continue to be, more questions about how this planned affiliation may work. We don't have all the answers yet. Much will be clarified during due diligence as we work toward a final agreement. We welcome your questions and ask for your continued prayers for wisdom and insight as we explore these options. If you have any additional questions, please give us a call at 503-261-4498.