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Stratus Healthcare Announces the Addition of Two New Members in Athens, Bainbridge

Stratus Healthcare Announces the Addition of Two New Members in Athens, Bainbridge

Health Systems Across Georgia Unite in Stratus Healthcare Partnership 

Macon, Ga. (Monday, October 20, 2014) – Leaders from Stratus Healthcare have announced the addition of two new members, including St. Mary's Health Care System (Athens, Ga.) and Memorial Hospital (Bainbridge, Ga.), to the largest alliance of healthcare providers in the southeastern United States.

Formed in July 2013, Stratus Healthcare unites healthcare providers across Georgia in one of the nation's largest collaborations of hospitals, healthcare systems and physicians aligned to develop a clinically-integrated network. Stratus Healthcare currently consists of 30 hospitals, 16 health systems and approximately 2,000 physicians, including St. Mary's Health Care System and Memorial Hospital. A non-equity partnership at the outset, Stratus Healthcare expects to form a non-profit limited liability corporation, pooling both human capital and financial resources to meet its mission and vision.  Members of Stratus Healthcare work together in a formalized partnership to exchange best practices, combine resources, develop coordinated information systems, reduce costs and manage the health of populations. St. Mary's Health Care System and Memorial Hospital will take advantage of a shared services model, yet remain independent.

“Like all Stratus partners, St. Mary's Health Care System and Memorial Hospital share a common goal of providing patients with the right access to the right care, at the right cost. We are pleased to welcome these new members, each an important healthcare leader in its region, to the Stratus Healthcare family,” said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, President and CEO of Central Georgia Health System in Macon, Ga., and co-founder of Stratus Healthcare.

Stratus Healthcare exists to enhance the health and wellness of residents in the communities that Stratus members serve by improving the regional coordination of medical services for patients, employers and payors.

“Providers of all types – including physicians, hospitals and others – have a compelling reason to work more closely with one another on a regional scale to develop clinical guidelines and share clinical outcomes. The timely exchange of electronic patient information, grounded in clinical integration, will be a top priority in the effort to improve quality and prevent duplication or over-utilization of healthcare services. Stratus Healthcare members will work in close partnership with all providers towards the advancement of this endeavor,” said William T. Richardson, President and CEO of Tift Regional Health System in Tifton, Ga., a co-founder of Stratus Healthcare, and Chairman of the Stratus Healthcare Board of Directors.

Healthcare reform has been the driving force in focusing reimbursement based on a fee-for-value framework rather thanthe fee-for-service model used in the past.

“Stratus Healthcare, along with its physician and hospital partners will create the delivery model for this transformation,” said Saunders. 

The collaborative partnership sets the stage for innovation while providing an alternative to mergers and acquisitions in a changing healthcare climate. Stratus Healthcare serves as a vehicle to keep healthcare local with the goal to improve outcomes, enhance the patient experience and increase efficiency as required by healthcare reform. Since its inception, Stratus Healthcare workgroups have developed clinical guidelines, telemedicine connections, transfer arrangements and sharing of outcomes data, as well as collective purchasing, integrated clinical networks and shared business resources.

For more information, visit or contact Megan Allen, Media Relations.