Officials at Hornell’s St. James Mercy Hospital announced June 10 that they plan to seek a formal affiliation with UR (University of Rochester) Medicine.
A letter of intent has been signed by leaders of both organizations, which have been operating collaboratively for nearly one year. Final decisions regarding an affiliation would require approval by the university’s board of trustees and the New York State Department of Health.
According to a statement by St. James Mercy, the primary goals of the affiliation are to bring about long-term financial stability for St. James Mercy and strengthen health care in the Hornell area. Among the criteria to be met for an affiliation to proceed are: securing of state funds by St. James Mercy that would allow it to continue operating for 24 months and also put $36 million toward building a new health-care facility in Hornell; development of a multiyear plan addressing long-term financial stability and improved patient care; and achieving operational and financial milestones.
"As we’ve worked with the board and leadership of St. James Mercy, it’s been clear that the first step toward preserving health-care services in Hornell is to develop a plan that puts St. James Mercy on solid financial footing," Dr. Mark Taubman, CEO of UR Medicine, said in a statement. "That is ultimately going to require support from the state, and it’s going to require a cooperative approach involving other nearby hospitals in the region. No hospital can go it alone in navigating this type of transition."
"We believe the future is bright for St. James Mercy," added Jennifer L. Sullivan, president and CEO of St. James Mercy. "We’re grateful for the support and expertise that UR Medicine has continued to provide to St. James Mercy as we work to strengthen health-care services in Hornell."
UR Medicine also is seeking affiliations with Noyes Health in Dansville and Jones Memorial in Wellsville. UR Medicine’s current network is made up of Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals in Rochester along with Thompson Health in Canandaigua.