The Dodge County (Neb.) Board of Supervisors,  Fremont Health Board of Trustees and Nebraska Methodist Health System Board of Directors approved this week a definitive agreement for a strategic partnership between Fremont Health and Methodist.

“[Fremont Health is] the only small independent health system that runs a community health system in the Greater Omaha area that is independent, every other one is part of a larger system. That makes it very difficult for us to be efficient and to compete, so by joining a larger system we get strength in numbers, we gain operational efficiencies, and gain access to their expertise,” Pat Booth, Fremont Health President and CEO, told the Fremont Tribune.

This transaction results from a great deal of foresight by the management and board of Fremont Health, along with the support of the Dodge County Supervisors.  Fremont Health decided to move forward with a partnership process at a time of financial strength, which resulted in strong interest from a number of high-quality health systems.  Because of the prudent timing, Fremont Health was able to utilize an innovative lease structure which will help preserve its existing pension plan for the benefit of current and former employees, among other favorable attributes.

The Fremont Health Board of Trustees, appointed by the Dodge County  Supervisors to provide oversight of the public Fremont Health Medical Center and its network of clinics, put forth a set of objectives for a potential affiliation last summer. The objectives included upholding Fremont’s mission and provision of charity care, maintaining and expanding clinical services, and preserving jobs.Fremont’s long-term sustainability is of the utmost importance to its community, as it is the sole hospital in Dodge County and a regional economic engine. Fremont Health employs more than 800 individuals and has a medical staff comprised of 100 physicians.

Juniper Advisory guided Fremont through a process to identify and evaluate partners that could preserve the hospital’s services and mission. After thorough consideration, Fremont chose Methodist as its preferred partner. With three hospitals and more than 20 clinic locations, Methodist is one of the premier health systems serving Nebraska.

 

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