A Note From Dennis Knox – August 2022

A Note From Dennis Knox – August 2022

Dennis Knox - MCMC CEO

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our employees past and present, Mid-Columbia Medical Center (MCMC) has served the people of The Dalles and the Columbia River Gorge for more than 120 years. For the past eight months, we have been on the pathway to secure an equally exciting future.

As we shared with you in January, the MCMC Board, Executive and Physician Leadership have been exploring how best to position MCMC to continue providing healthcare in our community for generations to come and meet the demands of our diverse growing community. The question is, “should we remain independent or affiliate with a like-minded healthcare organization that will invest in and grow our system”.

This journey has brought us to the point in time where I am pleased to share that the MCMC Board of Trustees has signed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) to join the Adventist Health family. As part of our agreement, Adventist Health will commit at least $100 million to MCMC to finance strategic capital needs. Both organizations have committed to exploring our shared vision for a future healthcare campus. In addition, Adventist Health has committed to making additional investments in the recruitment and retention of physicians and both physician assistants and nurse practitioners (known as Advanced Practice Providers or APPs). There are further commitments for service line development and healthcare campus improvements. During this time, we will also work with Adventist Health to determine the best way to meet community needs and expand our mission. The potential affiliation underscores both Adventist Health’s and MCMC’s commitment to rural healthcare and combines the missions of the two organizations to create a more vibrant and comprehensive healthcare hub in The Dalles and the Columbia River Gorge.

Adventist Health has a longstanding tradition of nonprofit, integrated healthcare that spans beyond their hospital walls. They are dedicated to the long-term viability of their affiliated health systems by investing in their employees, physicians, APPs and expanding the services they provide, ultimately benefiting communities with new growth opportunities. The rural health expertise of Adventist Health can benefit MCMC with enhancements in clinical and organizational initiatives, purchasing support, access to additional clinical and operational expertise, greater economies of scale and much more.

Today, as we continue to work on details of an affiliation with Adventist Health, we can share with you some commitments that have already been agreed upon by both organizations moving forward. Together Mid-Columbia Medical Center and Adventist Health intend to:

  • Maintain and enhance the immediate and long-term financial viability of MCMC that enables MCMC to make needed investments in the healthcare campus, technology, programs and people.
  • Recruit and retain high-quality primary care and specialty care physicians and APPs.
  • Position MCMC as an employer of choice for employees and clinical partner of choice for the medical community.
  • Build upon the great work of our teams to continue to increase clinical quality of our services and programs.
  • Promote and retain our team-based culture consistent with the Planetree Philosophy that celebrates our past, while building our future.
  • Continue effective and efficient local governance.
  • Increase health equity and equitable access to care that furthers our charitable mission.
  • Promote reliability, availability and continuity of healthcare in order to meet the needs of our community.
  • Broaden and deepen community support and engagement.
  • Strengthen MCMC’s population health capabilities.
  • Maintain and expand access to needed services for all residents of The Dalles and the Columbia River Gorge.

With this announcement, both organizations have entered into a period of mutual due diligence to fully determine the details of a final agreement. Pending further Board approvals and standard state and regulatory reviews, we hope to reach a decision later this year. We are excited about the potential benefits this affiliation can bring to MCMC’s physicians, APPs, employees, volunteers and The Dalles and the Columbia River Gorge communities.

While this is an important milestone for us, this step doesn’t change anything today and our priority will continue to be providing excellent care to our patients and the communities we serve. Patients will continue to access the care providers, services, and clinics they use today without disruption. Patients should keep their appointments and visit the providers, clinics and facilities they always have. We will keep our patients and our community informed with any updates as they become available. Visit our partnership exploration page to learn more about this exciting next step.