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Anna Jaques affiliates with BIDMC

Newburyport hospital will remain an independent non-profit

NEWBURYPORT - Anna Jaques Hospital (AJH) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have agreed to a new clinical affiliation that will add new medical services not currently available in the AJH community. The agreement will also draw on the expertise of the Boston academic medical center for locally based quality improvement efforts.

The agreement signed today, which also includes Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, ensures that Anna Jaques Hospital will remain an independent non-profit hospital, while offering services including specialty cardiovascular and high-risk pregnancy care for area residents without the need to travel to Boston.

"We are proud to affiliate with a Harvard teaching hospital, providing us with greater strength through collaboration," said Anna Jaques President and CEO Delia O'Connor.

"This is an opportunity to offer more to the patients we serve. This affiliation will allow Anna Jaques to fill any holes in the services we can offer our patients in their own community," said Board Chair George Ellison.

"Greater integration with BIDMC means patients will be seen in their community when clinically appropriate, but will have good access to complex care in Boston," said Stanley Lewis, MD, BIDMC's senior vice president for network integration. "More efficient integration also allows us to reduce duplicative treatments and testing, and enables the patient to return to the community for care as quickly as possible."

"Our affiliation agreement may be new, but it builds on the relationship already in place with AJH and BIDMC physicians," said Lewis. "Over time we look to expand the collaborations between Anna Jaques physicians and their Boston colleagues, including an increased ability for physicians to exchange electronic medical information important to patients' care." The ability to exchange records between different electronic medical record systems facilitates the coordination of healthcare delivery to patients.

One hundred and fifty physicians of the Whittier Independent Practice Association (IPA), a multi-specialty group in the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire, joined the Beth Israel Deaconess Physician Organization in 2009.

"Joining with the Beth Israel Deaconess Physician Organization (BIDPO) was advantageous to our organization," said Kevin Lanphear, DO, president of the Whittier IPA. "For 27 years the Whittier IPA has been assisting area physicians with respect to quality improvement initiatives and has advocated for area patients and physicians. Joining with BIDPO improved our ability to access an expansive knowledge base in the area of quality improvement."

"The AJH affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will allow improved clinical integration that I expect will further improve the quality of patient care in our local community," said Lanphear.

Since January, 2010 Mark Wyers, MD, a vascular surgeon from the Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has served as medical director of the noninvasive vascular laboratory at Anna Jaques. Duane Pinto, MD, a CVI cardiologist, is director of quality in the Anna Jaques cardiac catheterization laboratory, working with Salman Ghiasuddin, MD, Medical Director of the lab for Anna Jaques Hospital. And starting this month, high-risk pregnancy services are being offered collaboratively in Newburyport.

"We are delighted to build our relationship with Anna Jaques to provide the right care in the right environment," said Stuart Rosenberg, MD, president and CEO of Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and president of the Beth Israel Deaconess Physicians Organization.

Anna Jaques Hospital is a 123-bed community hospital serving 17 cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley. AJH offers a wide range of acute care and outpatient services with state of the art technology and clinical approaches appropriate to a high quality community hospital. Programs include a primary stroke service, Level III Trauma Center, and wound center. Anna Jaques was recently named by the Boston Business Journal as one of its Best Places to Work, 2010. For more information, visit www.ajh.org.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and consistently ranks among the top four in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org