WakeMed and Duke Announce Heart Care Collaboration

Collaboration will deliver greater value, more coordinated health care to patients in Wake County

RALEIGH, N.C. (February 14, 2017) — WakeMed Health & Hospitals and Duke Health have signed a joint operating agreement to work together to deliver highly-coordinated cardiovascular care, a broader scope of services and greater value and affordability to Wake County’s growing population of heart patients. Duke Health and WakeMed are also in discussions related to a similar collaboration involving cancer services in Wake County.

This is not a merger between the two organizations. Duke Health and WakeMed will continue to operate independently apart from the collaboration and maintain their own identities.

The heart care collaboration – Heart Care Plus+ – will serve the cardiovascular care needs of patients in Wake County, providing patients greater value and more options for quality heart care. On March 1, Heart Care Plus+ will begin a transition and integration process that will bring both heart teams together to work toward swift implementation. During the transition period, the goal is to introduce some new services and offerings through Heart Care Plus+.

As the trusted, preferred provider of heart care in Wake County for more than 50 years, WakeMed will continue to offer high-quality services to patients at the WakeMed Heart Center and its network of convenient physician practice locations, while providing an even broader scope of care by coordinating with Duke to provide additional specialty and sub-specialty services closer to home. Duke University Hospital will be available for highly complex surgical interventions (i.e. transplantation) that require its advanced surgical technologies and capabilities.

Duke and WakeMed announced in June of 2014 an agreed-upon framework to explore and evaluate potential opportunities for clinical collaboration while maintaining their independence. Over time, the health systems determined that collaborating in heart and cancer care would enhance the scope, quality and value of care in ways that neither Duke nor WakeMed could achieve alone, and without the need for costly new construction or infrastructure.

“This is a very exciting and important development that we believe will further enhance patient care in Wake County,” explains Donald Gintzig, WakeMed president & CEO. “As health systems continue to focus on improving the care and value we deliver to our patients, working together can help us all achieve greater coordination of care and clinical quality. As leaders in our respective areas of expertise, both Duke and WakeMed have the opportunity to learn a great deal from one another – all in the best interest of our patients and the care we deliver together.”

About WakeMed Health & Hospitals
Serving the community since 1961, WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a nationally recognized, private, not-for-profit health care organization founded and based in Raleigh, N.C. The largest health system in Wake County, WakeMed exists to improve the health and well-being of our community by providing outstanding, compassionate, patient- and family-centered care to all. The 919-bed system comprises a network of facilities throughout the Triangle area, delivering health and wellness services that bring added value to the communities we serve.

WakeMed is a leader in cardiac and vascular care, women’s and children’s services, emergency medicine and trauma care, physical rehabilitation, orthopaedics and neurosciences. Specialty facilities include the WakeMed Heart Center, Children’s Hospital, Women’s Pavilion and Birthplace, Women’s Hospital at WakeMed North, WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital, Adult and Children’s Emergency Departments and a Level 1 Trauma Center.

WakeMed’s team of more than 8,800 employees, 1,500 volunteers, 1,200 affiliated physicians, and the more than 280 physicians employed by WakeMed Physician Practices use the most advanced technologies along with the best minds and the biggest hearts to ensure the finest quality in health care and community health. For more information, visit www.wakemed.org.

SOURCE: WakeMed Health & Hospitals