PMH and ECRMC sign agreement to integrate valley-wide health care

(L-R) Tomas Virgen and Larry Lewis
(L-R) ECRMC CEO Tomas Virgen and Larry Lewis, CEO PMH


EL CENTRO – The governing boards of Pioneers Memorial Health Care District and El Centro Regional Medical Center, along with the City of El Centro, announced the signing of a Letter of Intent, after successfully negotiating the key terms to create a valley-wide, integrated healthcare system, Imperial Valley Health System.

The Agreement is the culmination of work done by a task force, representing all of the Parties, following the signing of the 90-day Memorandum of Understanding in May 2014.

The working group of six (6) steering committee members has been meeting regularly to evaluate the potential of affiliation.

The discussions have led to the development of the Agreement which outlines a set of goals that the committee is expected to elaborate on and incorporate into additional recommendations within the next 90 days.

“The objective of creating the IVHS will be to continue to focus on how we can bring new healthcare services to the Imperial Valley and increase access to care,” said Larry Lewis, Pioneers Memorial Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Both organizations continue to share the vision that a collaborative partnership will better enable us to expand services in this community, something our community members deserve,” added Lewis.

The committee is expected to rapidly work towards the development of a more definitive agreement that outlines how the two hospitals will work together and identify the benefits that are to be expected through affiliation.

Committee members will also be tasked with evaluating the possibility of affiliations with regional tertiary partners as well.

“Both hospitals will continue to run operations as separate entities in the near term, and nothing in this agreement would require a disruption in current operations including our physician practices,” said Tomas Virgen, El Centro Regional Medical Center Interim Chief Executive Officer.

“While our goal is to identify and maximize opportunities to reduce costs associated with duplication of services, significant changes will not be made until further analysis has been completed,” added Virgen.

While the committee has not been able to openly share detailed developments due to confidentiality agreements, they have agreed to work on establishing opportunities for community involvement, including the potential of forums in the coming months.