Better Together: UnityPoint Health

Debbie Simon, UnityPoint Health

The affiliation of UnityPoint Health – Pekin enhances healthcare access, efficiencies and value.

What an exciting time for central Illinois—and what a remarkable time for the patients, business partners, employees and volunteers of UnityPoint Health at Pekin, Methodist and Proctor campuses. Three great organizations have come together to craft a new vision for healthcare and create a unified health system that will enhance services across the region.

At a January press conference, I was proud to announce the affiliation of Progressive Health Systems of Pekin to UnityPoint Health, joining partners UnityPoint Health – Methodist and UnityPoint Health – Proctor, as they will be known individually. The Pekin campus will be known as UnityPoint Health – Pekin, and together we will be known as UnityPoint Health.

Moving forward, we will develop exciting, new ways to deliver patient care, building on the assets of all three organizations and coordinating resources, technology and purchasing efforts to maximize efficiencies and value. And with three convenient campuses and over 60 clinic locations, we will improve access throughout our community.

Prior to the signing of the affiliation agreement, Pekin Hospital CEO Bob Haley stated, “We want to be able to build a better health system together,” and I was reminded of an article published by iBi in January 2014. It was written by Dennis Triggs, then-chair of the Board of Trustees of Proctor Health Care Incorporated, and entitled “Proctor and Methodist: Better Together.” That recurring theme of “together” isn’t surprising to me—all three organizations have similar cultures, missions, visions and values. We are “better together,” and our affiliation serves as a method for service development and integration. It is astonishing when you realize that, collectively, we have served central Illinois for 356 years.

Sharing the desire to move forward together is only part of our success. The reason this works so well is a testament to the people of Pekin, Progressive Health Systems, UnityPoint Health and everyone who is part of Methodist and Proctor: simply, it is our people who make these outstanding organizations. Without the passion, loyalty and desire for excellence in patient care shown by our volunteers, staff, providers and leadership, it would be impossible to make this affiliation happen.

The months ahead—as we move forward as UnityPoint Health—will be an exciting and transformative time for everyone involved. During this time, as we bring our organizations together, you may expect transparency and important updates as we begin to create and shape one organization.

We believe in our communities, and we strongly believe in community hospitals. Pekin Memorial Hospital was founded in 1913, and in 1986, the hospital restructured to become Progressive Health Systems. Progressive Health Systems helped provide preventive and more advanced care, health education and additional services beyond the campus of Pekin Hospital. Change occurring in healthcare isn’t a new concept; in fact, change today likely occurs more rapidly in healthcare than any other industry. In Pekin, you’ll still see the same friendly faces you’ve always known. But once again, access to more services will become more available to more people and in more locations than ever before. Better together? There’s no doubt.

UnityPoint Health has a vision for healthcare, and it starts with not just a desire, but a passion for achieving the "best outcome for every patient every time." Isn’t that what this is all about? And I am so very proud to be working with the board, leadership and staff of Progressive Health Systems. Their sense of pride, loyalty and commitment to their community is synonymous with UnityPoint Health. I am excited about our future together. iBi

 

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