UTICA, N.Y. - Standing on the site of the future downtown hospital, Mohawk Valley Health System officials discussed the merger of its two medical staffs. Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center will become one, unified MVHS medical staff on January 1, 2021.
Joining the two hospital systems under the MVHS umbrella has been a multi-step, multi-year process.
The combined medical staff will include nearly 650 members.
“This is the first time in the history of healthcare in our community that the medical staff of all the hospitals in this region area will be working as one, unified group,” said Waleed Albert, MD, president of the FSLH Medical Staff. "We will have a stronger pool of physicians we can count on to move between the two hospitals as things evolve and as we need, such as what happened with COVID-19 for instance."
MVHS officials say this merger will not only help to improve patient care in the community, but it brings them another step closer to being ready to move into the new, regional medical center in 2023.
“We all believed that it was very important for the two medical staffs to come together prior to moving into the new regional medical center so that we could begin streamlining departments and sharing best practices with each other,” said Sushma Kaul, MD, president of the SEMC Medical Staff.
Combining medical staffs will mean all physicians will have privileges at both hospitals.
"It's a benefit to the community, it's a benefit to the patients," Albert said. "The patients, as you know, have a preference to go to one hospital or the other, one campus or the other, but combining the medical staff, the same physician can go between the two campuses whenever he or she is needed so that's a great benefit."
An Integration Committee of the medical staffs will begin work in September to outline the process to elect new medical staff officers and to implement the set of bylaws that were approved for this new medical staff to work within.