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LRMC to Move Ahead with Academic Affiliation

Friday, March 1 2013

Upon the recommendation of Elaine Thompson, PhD, FACHE, President and CEO of Lakeland Regional Health Systems, Inc. the LRMC/LRHS Board of Directors is moving forward with its goal of becoming a teaching hospital by developing an academic affiliation with USF Health. 

“Our principal goal is to transform into a teaching hospital.  We believe pairing the research and education innovations of academic medicine with LRMC’s top-notch patient care provides the best healthcare for patients and their families,” said Dr. Thompson.  “Since announcing our intention to partner with USF Health in September 2012, we have spent months performing a careful evaluation and due diligence, which has concluded that the first step in achieving our goal is executing an academic affiliation.” 

As LRMC continues to evaluate joining a health system with USF, Elaine Thompson, PhD, FACHE will remain in her role as President and CEO of Lakeland Regional Health Systems.

LRMC is committed to becoming a teaching hospital and is continuing to work on an academic affiliation agreement with USF Health.  The academic affiliation will achieve LRMC’s goal to have over 200 clinical residents at LRMC.  This advances the LRMC strategy to bring access to primary care to all the communities it serves, especially the underserved.  An academic affiliation will establish programs at LRMC in Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, and General Surgery.  In most of these areas, there exists a documented shortage of physicians, which is causing a disparity in health outcomes when you compare Polk County to the State of Florida and nationally. 

“We recognize and appreciate our physicians and all of their excellent contributions over the years in delivering high-quality healthcare to our community.  Their dedication and support have sustained a long legacy of delivering exceptional healthcare,” shared Dr. Thompson.  “Also, we look forward to working with USF Health, and we appreciate all of their efforts in helping us achieve our goal.” 

“We have accomplished so much in the last two years to fulfill our mission on behalf of the patients and families of our community,” concluded Jack Harrell, LRMC/LRHS Chairman, expressing his appreciation of the work that has been done.  “As we look to the future, we will have a strong health system led by Dr. Thompson as the President and CEO of Lakeland Regional Health Systems, and we will have a strong clinician-led academic medical center under the leadership of Mack Reavis, MD as the President and Chief Medical Officer of Lakeland Regional Medical Center.  Both will be guided by our Board of Directors made up of our own community leaders.”

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