*This story first appeared in The Budget’s May 23, 2018, Local Edition
By Beverly Keller
More services, not less, will be the result of an agreement between Pomerene Hospital and the Aultman Health Foundation.
Recently, the two entities signed a letter of intent that will lay the foundation for Pomerene to become a part of the Aultman family. “Aultman is in our own backyard,” shared Pomerene CEO Tony Snyder. “We have worked with them for the past 20 plus years. It’s a natural fit.”
The affiliation, expected to take effect in early 2019, will unite Pomerene with a regional health care center, providing a continuum of care not currently available.
The move was made cautiously with lots of research completed by the Pomerene Board of Directors. “Joining the Aultman Health Network was a natural step for Pomerene, as we already work together in so many areas,” said Dan Mathie, chairman of the Board at Pomerene. “We will be joining with a partner we know and respect, and this partnership will strengthen both of us as we work together to provide the highest- quality, cost-effective, patient-centered care throughout the region.”
Edward J. Roth III, president and CEO of the Aultman Foundation, said the decision took much time. “After carefully examining this affiliation opportunity, our board of directors determined that Pomerene Hospital would be a valuable partner in Aultman’s regional health care system and that this affiliation would support our mission to lead our community to improved health,” he said.
Once the agreement is completed, Pomerene will add and expand services based on the needs of the Holmes County community. The current management team and staff will remain in place. A new Pomerene Hospital board of directors will be comprised of members selected by both the Pomerene and Aultman Health Foundation boards.
“By joining the Aultman family, Pomerene Hospital will remain a not-for-profit, community hospital focused on its local patients, and we have learned from experience that’s good for the many communities we serve,” said Roth. “We’ll explore ways to enhance both organizations, improve access to care and expand services while respecting Pomerene Hospital’s important role in serving Holmes County and the surrounding communities.”
“Aultman sees what we are doing here at Pomerene and wants to adopt some of what we do here,” Snyder explained. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the hospital and the people of Holmes County. We will be adding care, and that’s good for everyone.”
The proposed arrangement will be submitted to the State of Ohio for review. Both groups expect to sign a definitive agreement later in the year.