St. Luke’s decides to maintain independent hospital status

November 19, 2009 | News, UToday
By Jon Strunk

Dr. Jeffrey Gold, provost, executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, told University of Toledo trustees at a Nov. 16 meeting that UT had been conducting extensive due diligence with St. Luke’s leadership since April when the possibility of a closer relationship was announced.

However, Daniel Wakeman, CEO of St. Luke’s Hospital, recently indicated that St. Luke’s Hospital is committed to maintaining its status as an independent community hospital and that a closer business relationship with The University of Toledo Medical Center, in pursuit of a larger academic health center, is unlikely at this time.

“We continue to have a strong relationship with St. Luke’s Medical Center,” Gold said. “We continue to place students in emergency medicine and family medicine residencies and clerkships, and faculty appointments are ongoing.”

In April, UT and St. Luke’s signed a memorandum of understanding committing to work together with the Maumee hospital’s leadership and board to investigate whether an enhanced affiliation between the organizations would be viable.

“St. Luke’s has always been proud of their status as an independent hospital and they have decided it is in their best interest to maintain that independence at the present time,” Gold said.

Gold’s discussion of St. Luke’s was part of an informational presentation to trustees updating them on the status of UT Medical Center’s clinical affiliations with hospitals and health-care systems across northwest Ohio and into Michigan.

While UT’s undergraduate and graduate medical education is expanding and excellent, Gold said, capacity restraints for students looking for residencies in individual specialties and sub-specialties limit UT’s ability to educate medical graduates and thereby enhance the current and future community clinical needs.

For that reason, new local and regional educational opportunities are being explored to improve, expand and better diversify the portfolio of high-quality health profession educational programs, he said.

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