Sutter Health Network Adopts A New Approach to Governance
SACRAMENTO, Calif., November 20, 2008 - The Boards of Directors of Sutter Health’s Northern California hospitals and physician organizations have all approved a new approach to governance designed to provide more seamless and coordinated care to patients.
The approvals pave the way for the creation of five geographic regions designed to reflect existing health care access patterns of Northern California consumers. Each region will have a governance structure that will oversee multiple Sutter-affiliated medical foundations and hospitals. The regional boards will replace more than 50 existing hospital and physician organization boards currently in place around the Sutter network. The regional boards are expected to charter entity-based committees to focus on important matters such as quality and community benefit. Philanthropy will remain a local entity responsibility.
“The creation of regional volunteer boards with local quality and community benefit committees preserves a strong voice for our physician organizations and hospitals while recognizing we deliver the greatest value to our patients when we work closely together,” said Tony Marzoni, M.D., a physician with Sutter-affiliated Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
“The health care environment is changing at lightning speed, and it compels us to have a more nimble governance structure,” added Sutter Health Board of Directors Chair Jim Gray. He said other leading health care organizations around the nation have adopted similar streamlined approaches to governance. Sutter Health’s hospitals and physician organizations in the greater Sacramento area have operated successfully within a regional governance structure for over a decade.
“Regional governance recognizes that consumers do not live their lives within the strict confines of city or even county boundaries,” said Robert Altman, M.D., who serves on the Boards of Directors of Sutter Gould Medical Foundation and Memorial Hospitals Association. “A new approach will allow us to make more informed decisions for the benefit of our larger communities, improve quality and keep our prices affordable at the same time. Our new structure will result in a more cohesive, coordinated system of care, which is what our patients expect and deserve,” Altman said.
The product of a year-long assessment by a committee of volunteer board members from around the Sutter system, the new regional governance structure is expected to take several months to finalize and implement.
About Sutter Health
Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, hospitals and other health care service providers join resources and share expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Organization. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology. For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health family, please visit www.sutterhealth.org.
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