July 6, 2009

Suburban Hospital Healthcare System joins JH Medicine

Ahead of schedule, officials of Suburban Hospital Healthcare System and the Johns Hopkins Health System Corp. on June 30 completed and signed documents officially integrating the Montgomery County–based SHHS into the Johns Hopkins Health System. Under terms of the transaction, which does not involve any financial exchange, SHHS becomes a wholly owned subsidiary corporation of JHHS and a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, while retaining its commitment to the local community and community physicians. The SHHS name is not expected to change at this time, and both leadership and day-to-day operations at Suburban will remain the same.

The formal signing followed what officials at both institutions agreed was an unusually quick, efficient and smooth due diligence process, and one that is likely to speed development of integrated regional health care services for patients.

A special event celebrating the integration was held on July 1 in the Ratner Sculpture Garden on the grounds of Suburban Hospital.

Under terms of the integration, SHHS will retain its voluntary medical staff and will operate under the same JHHS governance structure as The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Howard County General Hospital.

“We are extremely eager to begin this next exciting phase of our long-standing relationship with Johns Hopkins,” said Brian A. Gragnolati, president and CEO of SHHS. “As a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Suburban can foster the development of an integrated system of care for the national capital region, one focused on improving health by providing access to state-of-the-art medicine supported by a strong base of research and medical education.”

Edward D. Miller, dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said, “We have united two strong health care systems with a shared vision. The proposal strengthens each institution’s ability to serve patients along the continuum of care, providing greater access to coordinated and efficient care.” Miller emphasized that JHM is “committed to preserving and strengthening Suburban’s mission and expanding opportunities for clinical research, teaching and services to its community and community physicians.”

According to Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System President Ronald R. Peterson, partnering with Suburban was a strategically driven decision. “We are delighted to welcome a new member to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Suburban is strong financially, very highly regarded in its community and located virtually on the doorstep of the nation’s capital,” he said. “Having it as part of the Hopkins family provides us the critical mass to better position ourselves to provide an integrated, regional approach to care that we anticipate the future will demand.”

Suburban Hospital and JHM have enjoyed an alliance dating back to 1996. In 2006, the two institutions and the National Institutes of Health collaborated to develop the NIH Heart Center at Suburban Hospital, offering advanced cardiovascular specialty care, including cardiac surgery.
Beyond the services provided on the main Suburban Hospital campus, SHHS offers a broad array of patient services in non-acute-care settings. This includes an outpatient surgery center, an ambulatory cancer and radiation oncology center, and an imaging facility in the Suburban Outpatient Medical Center on Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, as well as imaging centers in Rockville and Chevy Chase, and a wellness center in Germantown. Numerous locations throughout the county provide rehabilitation services and community health and wellness programs.

Suburban doctors will not receive faculty appointments at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, nor will they have privileges at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Bayview and other Johns Hopkins entities. It is expected that over time, however, some may obtain part-time faculty status and become involved with supervising medical students and trainees.

Over time, some members of the JHM faculty may become involved in clinical program development at Suburban as a result of the transaction.