Keokuk Health Systems (KHS) and UnityPoint Health announced today, Dec. 15, that they have finalized an affiliation agreement between the organizations. Leaders from both organizations, Quincy Medical Group along with Governor Terry Branstad toured part of Keokuk Area Hospital before making the official announcement to hospital staff and board, government leaders and community members. Governor Branstad joined the announcement today as he had an integral role in ensuring the Keokuk community has access to healthcare.
The formal affiliation will be effective as of January 1, 2017. Under the affiliation, UnityPoint Health will become the sole corporate member of KHS. This strategic partnership will help ensure the long-term future of health care services in the Keokuk area by providing KHS with access to a variety of effective and efficient management, operational, and infrastructure support through UnityPoint Health.
UnityPoint Health will also provide financial stability to KHS. Capital projects such as renovating KHS’s emergency department are important initiatives to enhance health care services in Keokuk and will be a focus of both parties. As part of its relationship with UnityPoint Health, Quincy Medical Group (QMG) will expand the high quality clinical services that it provides in Keokuk. These efforts will increase access to care while improving care coordination and patient experience.
“We are excited to partner with Keokuk Health Systems and have a great deal of respect for the long tradition of care they have in the community,” said Kevin Vermeer, President & CEO of UnityPoint Health. “With the changing direction of health care it is increasingly important for organizations and systems to collaborate and partner in order to continue to provide quality affordable health care.
We appreciate the Governor’s support of this partnership that will allow KHS to continue and enhance the health care services they provide to the Keokuk area.” Governor Branstad and his office provided instrumental leadership and support to KHS that has been guided by the Board of Directors and Fitch Healthcare since early 2013. The Governor provided irreplaceable leadership on HF 2460, legislation that provided a $5 million loan to Keokuk Area Hospital which was a key component of the overall turnaround journey.
“I’m thrilled that the Governor will once again visit Keokuk Area Hospital” said Duane J. Fitch, President, Fitch Healthcare, “his leadership and confidence in the hospital and the community have been critical in rebuilding Keokuk Area Hospital”. “The Governor has been a major force in preserving health care access for this community” noted Walt Stephens, KHS Board Chair, “the economic impact of his contributions to our local economy are substantial as well”.
This affiliation creates a permanent and integrated relationship between UnityPoint Health and KHS that will enhance and advance health care services throughout Southeast Iowa.