January 25, 2010 12:16 ET

Alpena Regional Medical Center Joins VHA Inc.

Hospital Anticipates VHA Will Help It Substantially Trim Supply Costs

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - January 25, 2010) - Alpena Regional Medical Center, a 146-bed acute care facility in Alpena, Mich., has joined VHA Inc., the national health care network that serves more than 1,400 not-for-profit hospitals across the nation. Alpena expects the relationship with VHA will enable it to substantially trim supply costs.

A federally-designated Rural Referral Center, Alpena is a high-volume community hospital that treats patients from across northeastern Michigan. In addition to providing comprehensive inpatient services, Alpena offers a wide range of outpatient services, including cancer treatment services and cardiac rehabilitation. Alpena extends its reach into Northeastern Michigan through satellite clinics that serve many outlying communities.

"Joining VHA connects Alpena with the right resources, the right network and the right programs," said Karmon Bjella, chief executive officer at Alpena. "Most importantly, we are joining at the right time. Nonprofit hospitals are facing serious challenges, and for rural hospitals, those challenges are particularly acute. VHA programs will help us better manage our operations and help improve the quality of care we offer."

Leaders at Alpena expect their involvement in VHA will enhance supply chain efficiency and clinical effectiveness. Alpena will leverage its VHA membership to connect with experts and resources that might not otherwise be available and to network with other VHA member hospitals in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio to share ideas on improving performance.

"VHA connects some of the nation's largest and best-known health care organizations and hundreds of community hospitals like Alpena, into a powerful network," said Patti Sweeney, senior vice president at VHA. "Our focus in working with Alpena will be to enable the organization to improve clinical and operational efficiency and drive savings in the supply chain arena. We are delighted with Alpena's decision to choose VHA as its partner, and we are working closely with the Alpena team."

About VHA

Based in Irving, Texas, VHA is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. Formed in 1977, through its 16 regional offices, VHA serves more than 1,400 hospitals and more than 25,500 non-acute care providers nationwide. VHA was ranked by Modern Healthcare as the 7th best place to work in health care in 2009.

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