Friday, November 15, 2013

Babies Receive Advanced Care Sooner Through Fauquier Hospital, UVA Health System Partnership

Dr. Karen Rheuban, director of the Center of Telehealth at the University of Virginia, enjoys the ribbon cutting with Liz Daniels, RN, who was instrumental in bringing the UVA-Fauquier Health partnership to fruition.

Dr. Maria Juanpere, medical director of the Mars Family Special Care Nursery at Fauquier Hospital, watches the University of Virginia portion of Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony. The celebration was held at UVA and in the Family Birthing Center at the same time, and shared via the new telemedicine technology. The program allows neonatal nurse practitioners and physicians at Fauquier Hospital to consult in real time with the expert neonatologists at the University of Virginia.

Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel, center, a strong proponent of the UVA-Fauquier Health Neonatal Telemedicine program, was a special guest at the November 13 ribbon cutting. Sen. Vogel gave birth to four children at Fauquier Health’s Family Birthing Center, and was pleased to be a part of the celebration.

Babies born at Fauquier Hospital can now quickly receive advanced, one-on-one evaluation and care from specialists at University of Virginia Health System(UVA) through a new telemedicine partnership.

The innovative program was celebrated on Wednesday, November 13, at 2 p.m. The ceremony will be held simultaneously at Fauquier Hospital’s Family Birthing Center and UVA’s Center for Telehealth, and connected via the new telemedicine technology. Speakers included: Neonatologist Robert Sinkin, MD, MPH, lead neonatologist in the UVA - Fauquier NICU Telemedicine Program; Linda Sharkey, RN, Fauquier Hospital’s vice president for Patient Care Services, Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel; Karen Rheuban, MD, director of the UVA Center of Telehealth, medical director of the Office of Telemedicine, and associate dean for Continuing Medical Education; and James Nataro, MD, PhD, MBA, chairman of the UVA Department of Pediatrics.

Supported by UVA’s Center for Telehealth, the first neonatal telemedicine program in Virginia provides secure video, audio and data links between Fauquier Hospital’s Family Birthing Center and UVA’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With the telemedicine program, Fauquier Hospital newborns and clinicians now have around-the-clock access to board-certified UVA neonatologists who specialize in caring for very small or ill infants.

“For infants born at Fauquier Hospital who need advanced care, this partnership will ensure they are evaluated and treated as soon as possible,” said Linda Sharkey, Fauquier Health’s vice president for patient care.

The telemedicine program will also help UVA neonatologists more quickly determine which infants need to be transferred to UVA’s 45-bed NICU and which newborns can be cared for at Fauquier.

“We know how important it is for parents and newborns to remain close to home whenever possible,” said Robert Sinkin, M.D., division head of neonatology at UVA. “This will help newborns and their families in the Warrenton area get as much of their care as possible near home while providing them with easy access to the specialized care we provide at UVA.”

Fauquier Hospital joins UVA Center for Telehealth’s network of more than 85 telemedicine sites across Virginia that help thousands of Virginians access specialty care not available in their home communities. “We’re pleased to help expand access to neonatology care in the Warrenton area,” said Karen Rheuban, MD, director of the UVA Center for Telehealth.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fauquier Health Joins LifePoint Hospitals

The Fauquier Health Board of Directors and LifePoint Hospitals® have finalized their joint venture agreement to share ownership and operation of Fauquier Health. The joint venture will bring $52.8 million in capital investments to Fauquier Health over the next 10 years and provide more than $100 million to fund a charitable foundation to support crucial community needs. 

“Fauquier Health is delighted to finalize this joint venture agreement and become part of the LifePoint family,” said Marshall Doeller, chairman of the Fauquier Health Board. “As part of LifePoint, our health system will gain access to resources and support that will help us thrive in the changing healthcare environment. We look forward to working with the LifePoint team to expand our services and explore ways we can better serve our communities.”

As part of the final agreement, LifePoint will own 80 percent of the newly formed joint venture, and Fauquier Health and the Warrenton community will retain 20 percent ownership. Governance of Fauquier Health will be equally shared between Fauquier Health and LifePoint, and a board with equal representation from both entities is being established to ensure that the community has an active voice in Fauquier Health’s future.

“Fauquier Health has been a vital part of the healthcare infrastructure in Northern Virginia for more than 85 years,” said LifePoint chairman and CEO William F. Carpenter III. “We see a very bright future for Fauquier Health. We are proud to welcome the system to LifePoint and excited to work with its team to find ways that we can enhance healthcare in Warrenton and the surrounding region for generations to come.”

Over the next decade, the joint venture will make significant investments in technology, equipment and other improvements at Fauquier’s facilities.  Fauquier Health’s retained assets and the proceeds from the transaction have eliminated the health system’s debt, and the remaining assets of more than $100 million are being used to create a locally governed charitable foundation to benefit the community. 

“The finalization of this joint venture is an exciting milestone for our employees, physicians, volunteers, patients and community,” said Rodger Baker, Fauquier Health President and CEO. “Together with LifePoint, we have a great opportunity to make our community healthier. We can strengthen Fauquier Health for the future and make our system an even better place to work, practice and receive care. 

Fauquier Health is LifePoint’s sixth hospital in Virginia.  Its other facilities in the Commonwealth include Clinch Valley Medical Center in Richlands, Danville Regional Medical Center in Danville, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville, Twin County Regional Healthcare in Galax (a Duke LifePoint hospital) and Wythe County Community Hospital in Wytheville.