A controversial two-year agreement between the Carondelet Health Network and the Sierra Vista Regional Health Center has dissolved less than a year after it began.
At issue had been a prohibition on sterilization procedures that occurred at the Sierra Vista hospital as a result of the agreement. Since Carondelet is a Catholic network, Catholic rules applied when the agreement took effect.
Some patient groups and doctors were upset with those new rules, dubbing Sierra Vista as "the town with no birth control." One patients' rights group filed a complaint over the agreement with Arizona's Attorney General's Office.
Here's a statement from both entities:
Carondelet Health Network and Sierra Vista Regional Health Center have announced that they will not continue with the Integrative Network Agreement launched last year. The agreement was established in April 2010 between Carondelet, Southern Arizona’s largest Catholic, nonprofit health care system, and Sierra Vista Regional Health Center (SVRHC), an 88-bed community hospital located in Sierra Vista, Ariz.
As intended, the Integrative Network Agreement allowed both parties to assess the mutual value of formalizing a long-term partnership. “
During the past year, both parties have conducted a significant amount of due diligence, and have determined that there are too many complexities involved in a formal partnership,” said Ruth W. Brinkley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carondelet Health Network. "In the end, the partnership is unable to deliver to either party the outcomes we had originally envisioned.”
“The relationship between Sierra Vista Regional Health Center and Carondelet has been very positive. We have been collaborating on several important clinical initiatives to benefit our community, many of which we plan to continue,” said Margaret Hepburn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Vista Regional Health Center.
“Our Board of Trustees evaluated the agreement with input from the hospital’s many stakeholders on all the aspects of the partnership. Ultimately, the Board determined that the best course of action for our hospital and our community was to maintain a collaborative relationship with Carondelet rather than to continue with the Integrative Network Agreement.”
“We are extremely proud of the work we have accomplished as health care partners,” Brinkley said. “We believe – even without an Integrative Network Agreement – that residents of Cochise County will see many concrete benefits of the relationship forged during the past year between Carondelet and Sierra Vista Regional Health Center. We look forward to our continued work on behalf of the patients we serve.”
The Integrative Network Agreement will be discontinued in early April.