Birmingham, AL – The University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Health System and The Health Care Authority of the City of Anniston (RMC) take a step forward for rural healthcare with a Letter of Intent to affiliate.
Ray Watts, M.D., President, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dawn Bulgarella, Chief Executive Officer, UAB Health System, Don Lilly, Chief Network and Affiliates Officer, UAB Health System, Jay Jenkins, City of Anniston, Chairman Regional Medical Center System Board of Directors, and Louis Bass, President and CEO, Regional Medical Center System will hold a press conference on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at 1:15 p.m. at the Civitan International Research Center, 1719 6th Ave. South, Birmingham. The leaders from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, the UAB Health System and The Heath Care Authority of the City of Anniston (RMC) will jointly announce an exciting step forward for the future of healthcare in rural Northeast Alabama with a Letter of Intent to affiliate.
In August of 2022 RMC announced they were launching a strategic exploration process to determine if a potential partner could help sustain and improve local access to high-quality, low-cost care close to home and support the long-term growth of Northeast Alabama. Jay Jenkins, Chair of the RMC Board of Directors, did indicate they hoped to have an announcement in mid-fall, but that was not a firm deadline.
UPDATE: The Health Care Authority of the City of Anniston (RMC) Board of Directors and Leadership Team announced today that they have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) for RMC to become an affiliate of the UAB Health System.
“RMC’s Board is excited to take this next step to improve local access to the best healthcare,” said Jay Jenkins, Chair of the RMC Board of Directors. “An affiliation with UAB will help ensure we can continue to meet the healthcare needs of our friends, family, and neighbors in Northeast Alabama for years to come.”
RMC has a proud history of serving the local communities and is a leading employer in the region. To maintain this cornerstone institution, the Board and Leadership Team determined a meaningful partnership was required to succeed in delivering the best healthcare to the surrounding communities, as well as meeting the evolving health needs of their patients.
“I’m thrilled about this next step to pursue an affiliation with the UAB Health System,” said Louis Bass, President and CEO of RMC. “We know the UAB Health System supports our core beliefs and the way we care for people, and that UAB Health’s priorities for excellent patient care align with our own. Together, we are committed to delivering quality local healthcare to our community.”
RMC entered this process thoughtfully, proactively, and from a stable position, which allowed the health system to explore a range of options from some of the most respected healthcare organizations in the country. After careful consideration, the Board and Leadership Team selected the UAB Health System to continue with as a potential partner.
“This arrangement would bring two outstanding health care organizations together,” said UAB President Ray Watts, M.D. “RMC is the flagship hospital for Northeast Alabama, and this linkage would combine the strengths of the UAB Health System with the outstanding care that RMC has provided their patients for years. We look forward to working with RMC to explore how this closer relationship could boost and enhance health care delivery for the residents of Calhoun County and all of Northeast Alabama.”
A potential affiliation with the UAB Health System supports RMC’s vision to continue to improve patient care and provide greater healthcare access in its five-county service area through:
- Growing service lines, with a renewed focus on exploring a joint venture for a new Cancer Center in Calhoun County.
- Collaborating with the UAB Health System to further enhance patient care and quality practices, as well as improve RMC’s financial sustainability.
- Partnering to support specialty physician recruitment efforts.
RMC and the UAB Health System have a longstanding relationship and, for more than 10 years, have successfully collaborated in several areas, such as Cancer Care, Radiation Oncology and Pathology services, Patient Experience and Engagement, and Antimicrobial Stewardship to reduce the resistance to antibiotics and decrease the spread of infections to improve patient outcomes.
“The UAB Health System has enjoyed a long and beneficial relationship with RMC since 2011,” said Dawn Bulgarella, CEO of the UAB Health System. “A new affiliate agreement would extend the full clinical expertise and medical research capabilities of UAB to the Anniston/Oxford region and help RMC continue to deliver exceptional care to their community. Additionally, there are potential advantages to be gained through combined purchasing power, governance, and economies of scale that would benefit both organizations.”
Additionally, RMC’s vision for a potential affiliation with the UAB Health System includes a focus on:
- Excellent Clinical Care and the opportunities to collaborate to bring new services and care to the local region.
- Supporting Employees and Providers through a good cultural alignment that supports the vital role RMC plays in the region and will help position RMC as an employer and clinical partner of choice for the entire medical community.
- Supporting Growing Communities: Recently, Calhoun County and the surrounding communities have experienced considerable economic growth. As the region continues to develop, local communities must have a healthcare system that can meet the growing healthcare needs of the future.
- Care Close to Home so that patients can see their doctors and receive the highest-quality services they need locally.
With this announcement, both organizations will enter a period of due diligence to fully determine the details of a final agreement. Pending further approvals, including from the Health Care Authority of the City of Anniston Board of Directors and the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees along with a standard regulatory review, the organizations plan to finalize an agreement later this summer.
The RMC Board and leadership team commit to keeping the community informed as the process moves forward. Visit RMCForward.org for the latest news and updates.
About The Health Care Authority of the City of Anniston
The Health Care Authority of the City of Anniston (RMC) is the premier regional health care provider for a five-county service area in northeast Alabama. With a total of 338 inpatient beds located at its Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center campus, 125 at its Stringfellow Campus, and numerous outpatient facilities, urgent care and specialty clinics, RMC is the region’s leading provider of choice. More than 1,900 employees, 300 volunteers and over 200 physicians, who represent a full range of medical specialties – including cardiac, women’s, orthopedics, oncology and emergency services – provide state-of-the-art healthcare to patients with integrity, skill and compassion. Learn more at www.rmccares.org.
About UAB Health System
UAB Medicine comprises the School of Medicine and the $6.4 billion UAB Health System that includes all of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s patient-care activities and 2,300 licensed beds in 11 hospitals, one of which is UAB Hospital — the eight-largest hospital in the United States, winner of the Women’s Choice award, and one of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals. UAB, a part of the University of Alabama System, is the state of Alabama’s largest single employer and an internationally renowned research university and academic health center; its professional schools and specialty patient-care programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50. UAB is the largest academic medical center in Alabama and one of the top four largest academic medical centers in the United States. UAB is advancing innovative discoveries for better health as a three-time recipient of the prestigious Center for Translational Science Award. Find more information at www.uab.edu and www.uabmedicine.org.