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Contact: Linda J. Johnson
WCA Hospital Public Relations & Marketing Department
(716) 664-8614
Linda.Johnson@wcahospital.org

WCA & UPMC Sign Affiliation Agreement


WCA Hospital
Left to right: : Tom Tupitza, UPMC Board member and chairman; Jim Fiorenzo, president UPMC, Leslie C. Davis, senior vice president UPMC, and executive vice president and chief operating officer Health Services Division UPMC; Diane Wellman, W.C.A. Services Corporation chairman; Cristie Herbst, W.C.A. Foundation, Inc., chairman; Brenda Ireland, W.C.A. Group, Inc., chairman; Howard Howlett, Jr., Starflight, Inc., chairman; Betsy T. Wright, FACHE, President/CEO; Steve Kilburn, WCA Hospital Board of Directors chair.

Jamestown, New York,(Thursday, December 17, 2015)—WCA Hospital and UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) announced today a formal affiliation agreement to integrate WCA Hospital into the UPMC network to expand access to quality health care services and resources in the region. Recognized as the area’s health leader, WCA Hospital will be the first New York State hospital to sign an affiliation agreement with world-renowned UPMC. 

The affiliation agreement, completed and approved on Wednesday, December 16, 2015, by board members and leaders from the two health systems, enables WCA Hospital to preserve local health care while affording the community the specialty expertise and resources of UPMC, a world-class academic medical center and integrated health care delivery and finance system currently ranked No. 13 on the prestigious U.S. News & World Report annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals.

For more than five years, the WCA board of directors and leadership have been diligently exploring strategic opportunities to enhance and expand the exceptional care the hospital provides while addressing the challenges of an ever-changing health care landscape.  After a rigorous and thorough analysis following a multi-year study assessing the future of health care for Jamestown and its surrounding region, the WCA board members and leaders decided that a WCA-UPMC partnership ensures superior-quality and continued access to health care for the entire region.

Betsy T. Wright, FACHE, WCA Hospital President/CEO, said the choice to affiliate with UPMC is the right thing to do because it preserves and strengthens local health care.  “The greatest benefit of the affiliation agreement is keeping high-quality care close to home,” said Mrs. Wright.  “The integration will not only strengthen WCA as the foremost provider of health care in Jamestown and the surrounding region, but will provide even greater opportunity moving forward into our future to offer additional specialty services and programs to the benefit of the communities we serve.”

“We are thrilled to welcome WCA Hospital into the UPMC network,” said Leslie C. Davis, senior vice president UPMC, and executive vice president and chief operating officer Health Services Division UPMC.  “UPMC has a long track record of successful affiliations with outstanding community hospitals who share our vision and mission to extend world-class patient care, keeping it close to home, in the communities where it is needed.”

“Today is an important and historic day for WCA Hospital and our community,” said Steve Kilburn, WCA Hospital Board of Directors chair.  “As hospitals face increasing pressures and challenges in the current health care environment, some communities are experiencing significant reductions in access to local health care services.  At WCA, we are responding to these challenges in ways that will not only maintain health care services in Jamestown, but position us to strengthen and grow services in the years to come.  WCA’s integration with UPMC, one of the premier health care systems in the nation, is a major step towards a strong future for health care in our community.”

Signing a strategic affiliation agreement on August 12, 2012, WCA and UPMC Hamot have already experienced a long-standing and mutually beneficial collaboration.  “That partnership has flourished, resulting in where we are today,” said Jim Fiorenzo, president of UPMC Hamot.  “We look forward to working even more closely together with our colleagues at WCA to continue improving care coordination and delivery of services, increasing patient satisfaction, assisting with recruitment and retention of outstanding physicians, and upgrading facilities, programs, and infrastructure, including, information technology and electronic medical records capabilities.” 

As part of the signed agreement, UPMC has committed to invest at least $25 million over the next 10 years to support such enhancements. UPMC has also agreed to relieve WCA’s debt and cover its pension obligations, freeing up significant additional monies for WCA development.

For more than 130 years, WCA has delivered on its trusted mission to improve the health and well-being of those they serve.  In a new era of health care, the affiliation agreement pledges that through a world-class partnership, the communities served by WCA will benefit from cost-effective health care of the highest quality and an even greater opportunity to transform health care that will pave the way for the next generation.  “This decision, like all others, was driven by our pursuit to serve our families, friends, and neighbors who will receive care in our community for generations to come,” Betsy said.

The affiliation agreement is contingent upon a due diligence period and regulatory approvals, including but not limited to New York State Certificate of Need approval.  UPMC and WCA hope to finalize the integration in late summer of 2016.

About WCA Hospital
WCA Hospital, a 317-licensed bed hospital, was chartered in 1885, is Southwestern New York’s largest not-for-profit healthcare provider, offering an extensive range of inpatient and outpatient acute and rehabilitation services.  WCA Hospital has been recognized at the state and national level for high-quality care outcomes.  The hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission, The American Association of Blood Banks, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American College of Radiology, Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL), CEO Roundtable on Cancer Gold Standard Employer for 2015, and approved by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) Commission on Cancer (CoC).  For more information, visit WCA’s website, wcahospital.org, or call (716) 487-0141.

About UPMC Hamot
A regional referral hub with the only Level II Trauma Center in northwestern Pennsylvania, UPMC Hamot is a 443-bed hospital in Erie that also includes a state-of-the-art Women’s Hospital devoted to meeting the comprehensive health care needs of women and infants in the community. One of Erie County’s top three employers, UPMC Hamot provides more than $33 million annually in benefits to the community, including $23.5 million in free and reduced-cost care to the area’s most vulnerable citizens. Becoming part of the UPMC network in 2011 has enabled UPMC Hamot to provide world-class care with access to some of the nation’s leading health care providers and the latest technological advancements. For more information, visit http://upmc.com/locations/hospitals/hamot/pages/default.aspx.

About UPMC  
A world-renowned health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of accountable, cost-effective, patient-centered care. It provides more than $888 million a year in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 60,000 employees, more than 20 hospitals, more than 500 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, a 2.8-million-member health insurance division, and international and commercial operations. Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC ranks No. 13 in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals. For more information, go to UPMC.com.

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