SEARHC Signs Letter of Intent with Swedish to Expand Specialty Services

SITKA – SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) has signed a letter of intent with Swedish Medical Center (Swedish) for the purpose of expanding specialty services and clinics in Southeast Alaska.

The services, expected to begin in fall of 2018, will ensure residents have greater access to services close to home, particularly for the specialties of neurology, urology, cardiology, rheumatology and dermatology.

Swedish will provide SEARHC’s patients with improved access to specialty services and leading-edge technology. The affiliation also will provide patients with better-coordinated healthcare experiences, including integrated information systems and telehealth options. This will result in seamless transitions of care for both pediatric and adult patients who require care beyond SEARHC’s capabilities and who choose to be treated at a Swedish acute care facility in Washington.

“Our patients’ and communities’ healthcare needs are changing, and they rely on us for both primary and specialty services,” said SEARHC President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Clement. “A partnership with Swedish will expand the breadth of quality specialty services in Southeast Alaska and will provide enhanced continuous care for SEARHC patients. Additionally, the affiliation will provide access to a higher level of care in Seattle for those patients who want to take advantage of the opportunity.”

A well-thought-out exploratory process narrowed the potential partners. After an extensive review of the prospective affiliates, including multiple site visits, SEARHC identified Swedish as an ideal partner whose recognized commitment to high-quality care and mission, vision and values are in concert with SEARHC’s.

“This partnership will ensure that Southeast Alaskan patients have access to more health care services they require” said Swedish Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Guy Hudson. “Through this partnership, we will help increase access to care for patients in their own communities as well as ensure that there is continuity of care for SEARHC patients when travel is required to a Swedish facility.”

The two health systems are working together toward a final agreement, which is expected to be finalized in early fall 2018.