SOURCE: VHA

August 29, 2005 15:00 ET

Allina Hospitals & Clinics Strengthens Relationship With VHA to Improve Efficiences and Care

IRVING, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 29, 2005 -- Allina Hospitals & Clinics, Minneapolis, Minn., has strengthened its affiliation with VHA Inc., the national health care alliance, to improve efficiencies that will lead to enhanced quality care. Through a new two-year agreement, the Allina system and VHA will collaborate to develop a customized supply chain management initiative to reduce supply costs for all Allina facilities.

"Allina is one of the largest health care systems in the region, and it is committed to being the most efficient and effective health care provider in the area. We are pleased it has elected to work with VHA to continue those efforts," said Stuart B. Baker, M.D., executive vice president at VHA.

"Our mission is to provide exceptional care to our patients," said Mark Harrison, chief financial officer at Allina. "VHA's custom approach to supply chain management provides a comprehensive range of opportunities to reduce supply costs, which enhances our ability to fulfill our mission. Our plan is to utilize VHA resources and Novation contracting expertise to optimize supply chain performance, reduce products costs, and improve our overall efficiency."

As part of its efficiency efforts, Allina will continue to channel purchases of medical-surgical devices, pharmaceuticals, capital equipment, food products, lab equipment and other supplies through VHA's supply company, Novation. While Allina does do some purchasing on its own, in 2004 it purchased nearly $280 million in supplies and services through Novation and VHA contracts.

About Allina

Allina Hospitals & Clinics is a not-for-profit system of hospitals, clinics and other health care services that work together to provide care throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Allina owns and operates 11 hospitals, 65 clinics, home care and hospice services, oxygen and equipment, pharmacies, and emergency medical transportation services. Allina Hospitals & Clinics and the latest health information can be found online at www.allina.com.

About VHA

VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national alliance of leading not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to improve the health of the communities they serve. VHA leverages the collective strength of the membership to improve clinical, operational and financial performance. Through the VHA cooperative, members access resources that help them assess critical needs and identify best practices to create customized solutions that lower costs and improve clinical quality. As a cooperative, VHA distributes income annually to members based on their participation. With 18 offices across the U.S., VHA serves more than 2,400 health care organizations nationwide.

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