October 14, 2020

Around the nation: Atrium Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health complete merger

Daily Briefing

    Atrium Health President and CEO Eugene Woods, who now will serve as president and CEO of the newly merged health system, said the merged organization aims "to build a 'Silicon Valley' for health care innovation spanning from Winston-Salem to Charlotte," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, North Carolina, and Ohio.

    • California: Lyft on Thursday announced that it has integrated its ridesharing service with Epic, one of the largest providers of EHR systems, to make it easier for health systems to request rides for their patients. The integration allows hospital staff to directly book rides for their patients through a service called Lyft Concierge in the patient's EHR. Hospital staff can use the service to select patients' appointment dates, choose pick-up and drop-off times, provide patients' names, and track patients' rides (Farr, CNBC, 10/8).

    • North Carolina: North Carolina's Charlotte-based Atrium Health and Winston-Salem-based Wake Forest Baptist Health have completed their merger into a 42-hospital system that has more than 70,000 employees, the companies announced Friday. Under the merger, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Wake Forest School of Medicine will now serve as the "academic core" of Atrium Health, the newly merged health system said, and it plans to build a second campus of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Charlotte. Atrium President and CEO Eugene Woods, who now will serve as president and CEO of the newly merged health system, said the merged organization aims "to build a 'Silicon Valley' for health care innovation spanning from Winston-Salem to Charlotte" by "creating a nationally-leading environment for clinicians, scientists, investors, and visionaries to collaborate on breakthrough technologies and cures." Julie Ann Freischlag—CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine, who will serve as the chief academic officer of Atrium Health in addition to retaining her roles with Wake Forest—said, "The impact of the strategic combination will be far-reaching, elevating North Carolina as a clear destination of choice to receive medical care for people all across the nation" (Ellison, Becker's Hospital Review, 10/9).

    • Ohio: Cleveland Clinic on Thursday announced that neurologist Steven Shook has been appointed to serves as the health system's virtual health lead, looking to develop and monitor the Clinic's virtual health strategy. Shook has worked at the Clinic since 2007 and teaches at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Shook previously has served as the quality improvement officer and as vice char of operations for Cleveland Clinic's neurological institute (Kim Cohen, Modern Healthcare, 10/8).

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