YUMA, Ariz. – Officials with Yuma Regional Medical Center announced today the organization’s board of directors will pursue a path of strategic growth to better position the 406-bed hospital for success amid healthcare’s changing landscape. The announcement serves as the next step in a process that began this spring to determine how the hospital will address the complex issues and challenges facing the nation’s independent hospitals.
One option for YRMC’s growth involves exploring the potential of a partnership with one or more like-minded healthcare organizations, and the board is taking the next step to further evaluate that possibility in more detail.
“It is our duty as a board to deliver on our longstanding commitment to do what’s best for this community,” said Larry Deason, board chairman. “I was born in Yuma and know that the families here look to this hospital to make informed and thoughtful decisions for the future of our community’s health and wellbeing. While we are proud of the strength of our hospital today, both clinically and financially, the local leaders on this board share my conviction that there is more we can do to secure our ability to deliver timely access to high-quality, cost-effective care for generations to come.”
At the onset of this process, with collaboration from local physician leaders, the board set out to establish a strategic plan that honors YRMC’s past, protects the progress of today and charts a path forward to secure the brightest possible healthcare future for Yuma. The board agreed that the best plan was one of smart, strategic growth.
The board has engaged a national healthcare advisor, Juniper Advisory LLC, to help YRMC explore and evaluate all possible strategic options for its future. The process will support the board as it determines whether any partnership options will help YRMC achieve its vision and are in the best interest of the greater Yuma community.
“As the only full-service hospital for 180 miles and the area’s largest non-government employer, YRMC has a unique and vital role in our community,” said Robert J. Trenschel, DO, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer of YRMC. “Our goal through this process is to determine whether a potential partnership would allow us to create a better experience for our patients, increase the quality of our care, improve the overall health of the communities we serve and reduce healthcare costs for patients and local employers.”
Key Exploration Focus Areas
As the next step in this journey, Juniper Advisory will assist the board and leadership of YRMC in determining whether a partnership with one or more like-minded healthcare organizations is in the best interest of the greater Yuma community and, if so, what organizations would make the best partners and what partnership arrangements would be best for Yuma.
The board has developed three key focus areas for evaluating possible partnerships. Specific areas of focus include: 1) a commitment to the community; 2) strengthening and expanding services; and 3) investing in a long-term future.
“Thanks to the dedication and commitment of our employees, nurses and physicians, YRMC is very fortunate to be evaluating this option from a position of clinical and financial strength,” said Deason. “This strong position allows the board the time to undertake this process thoughtfully and to focus on the areas that we believe will build the best future possible for the patients of YRMC and the Yuma community.”
Evolution in a Time of Unprecedented Change
Standalone hospitals across the country face a complex set of challenges in an industry experiencing an unprecedented period of change. Hospitals are forced to do more with less – improving quality and patient safety, investing in state-of-the-art medical and information technology, and making the shift to advancing the wellness of patients and reducing the need for inpatient hospital care.
In addition to these challenges, YRMC faces a number of unique issues, such as its role as the sole full-service hospital available to patients for almost 200 miles; a geographic location which has traditionally challenged the hospital’s ability to retain and recruit physicians, nurses and caregivers; a lack of timely access to care, even in the Yuma area; a need to expand clinical training programs; and a dramatic rise in chronic diseases.
“To address the growing healthcare needs in our community, last year we asked everyone at YRMC to take exceptional focus and accountability for improving quality, service and efficiency,” said Trenschel. “The way the people of this hospital responded was exemplary. We evolved the way we care for patients, and I’m proud to say that our performance metrics, including especially those related to quality of care and our financial position, illustrate this successful evolution. We have a solid foundation upon which we can take the next step in our evolution to shape our future.”
The board will lead this process over the coming months. YRMC is committed to being transparent and providing updates during this process. Along with regular communication channels, a special website – www.YumaRegionalForward.org – has been developed to deliver information and ongoing updates.
“In my role overseeing YRMC’s clinical programs and the high standards of quality and service we provide, I am fully confident that our caretakers remain one hundred percent focused on delivering the care our patients expect and deserve,” said Bharat Magu, MD, YRMC Chief Medical Officer. “All of us who care about healthcare in Yuma – independent and employed physicians, nurses and patients, and every member of our community – have an interest in seeing YRMC succeed. This decision was driven by a dedication to doing what’s best for Yuma.”
Yuma Regional Medical Center is a 406-bed, not-for-profit hospital dedicated to providing outstanding medical care to the residents of Yuma and the surrounding communities in southwestern Arizona. The YRMC team includes over 2,000 employees, 300 doctors and hundreds of volunteers who work closely together to create a welcoming, caring, and compassionate environment for patients and their families. Learn more at www.YumaRegional.org.