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Expanded Affiliation to make Alegent Health the Primary Teaching Partner for Creighton University

Creighton University and Alegent Health today announced agreements forming a long-term strategic affiliation, which includes the planned acquisition of Creighton University Medical Center (CUMC) from Creighton and its clinical partner Tenet Healthcare. The addition of CUMC into the Alegent Health family will make Alegent the primary teaching sites for Creighton's health sciences schools, enhancing both the academic experience for students and healthcare in the greater Omaha community.

Alegent Health will expand its academic footprint that currently includes 14 academic affiliations between Alegent and Creighton including OB/GYN residency, nursing and pharmacy. Alegent is also the primary teaching site in the region for psychiatry.

"We are excited to enhance our longtime relationship with Alegent Health through this new and strategically important affiliation," said Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., president of Creighton University. "The combined healthcare entities will further the missions of both faith-based organizations by improving local healthcare and transforming medical education for the benefit of physicians, students and the communities whose patients we serve. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the incredibly skilled and dedicated employees at CUMC and express our deep gratitude for the quality care they provide to our community every day."

Fr. Lannon believes that by affiliating with Alegent Health, Creighton students will have richer clinical experiences whether they are training in medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy or other health professional fields.

"We understand the importance of ensuring that tomorrow's healthcare providers receive the best possible clinical training," said Richard A. Hachten II, F.A.C.H.E., Alegent Health president and CEO. "We are excited to provide a broader array of educational opportunities for Creighton students. Just as important is what we're providing the community - the strongest healthcare system in the region."

"At CUMC, we are proud of all that has been accomplished through the successful partnership between Tenet and Creighton University, which provided decades of quality healthcare to the community and trained thousands of healthcare professionals," said Gary Honts, president and CEO of Creighton University Medical Center. "As Omaha has evolved and changed over time, we find ourselves faced with many challenges that are impacting healthcare and academic organizations across the country. For this hospital and our patients, the best course of action is to become part of an integrated regional system, and we believe Alegent is the right partner."

For nearly 30 years, CUMC and Creighton University have had a successful partnership providing high quality healthcare to Omaha and surrounding communities while training thousands of highly skilled medical professionals. To meet the changing demands of healthcare in Omaha and our nation, the three organizations collaborated to develop the best path forward for CUMC by becoming part of an integrated system with an expanded regional presence. The regional system continues to support the community with quality healthcare services and enhances Creighton's critical healthcare education mission.

Physician Groups are a "Good Fit"

As part of the agreement with Creighton University, Alegent Health would assume operations of Creighton's physician group, Creighton Medical Associates, which, over time, would become part of Alegent Health Clinic. "It's a good fit," said Rick Rolston, M.D., president and CEO of Alegent Health Clinic. "Creighton Medical Associates is primarily a specialty group and Alegent Health Clinic is largely primary care. While there may be some duplication of services, with this new agreement, there will likely be an expansion of services, which will be a huge benefit to patients."

"Bringing these physician practices together will lead to greater access to services for patients not only in the metro Omaha community but also for those living in rural areas in Nebraska and southwest Iowa," said Hachten.

Making the Agreements Work

Both Creighton University and Alegent Health have committed to making matching contributions to a shared strategic investment fund to advance their collective academic and clinical missions. Additionally, Alegent Health has agreed to make an annual financial contribution to the Creighton University health sciences schools, including the School of Medicine, to help support their various educations programs.

The agreements are expected to be finalized over the summer, after which Alegent will take over the operations of Creighton University Medical Center and Creighton Medical Associates. In the meantime, both Alegent and Creighton will be engaging physicians, operational and administrative personnel in active work groups to create the design, governance and operational aspects of the long-term strategic affiliation.

The three organizations will spend the next several weeks in due diligence reviewing financial documents and other records before moving forward to finalize the agreements. "Ultimately our goal is to provide our communities with high-quality care at an affordable cost while providing excellent education for the health professionals of tomorrow," said Hachten.

Finalization of the transaction is subject to the approval of the Boards of Directors of the parties, negotiation and execution of definitive agreements, and satisfaction of applicable regulatory approvals. The transaction is tentatively expected to close by July 1, 2012 and no financial terms are being disclosed."

About Alegent Health

With a commitment to providing high-quality care and an exceptional patient experience, Alegent Health physicians and employees are focused on caring for the body, mind and spirit of every person. Patients find a continuum of care at Alegent Health, from primary care through geriatrics. Sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel, Alegent Health is a not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare provider serving Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) is a national, faith-based provider with deep roots in our community. CHI owns and operates more than 70 healthcare facilities across the United States. Immanuel is a locally faith-based provider of services for seniors. For more information, visit www.alegent.com.

About Creighton University

Creighton University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic institution, was founded in 1878 in Omaha, Neb. The University enrolls more than 4,200 undergraduate and 3,500 professional school and graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Graduate School, and Schools of Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy and Health Professions.

The Creighton University School of Medicine has been teaching tomorrow's doctors since 1892. In the Jesuit, Catholic tradition of caring for the whole person - mind, body and spirit - the school is committed to providing excellent patient care and preparing future doctors for the medical challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in patient care, teaching and research. Creighton Medical Associates (CMA) is the academic, multispecialty faculty group supporting the clinical and academic missions of Creighton University School of Medicine. For more information, visit www.creighton.edu.

Read the article in Modern Healthcare