Ashland Community Hospital announced that it will begin exclusive partnership negotiations with San Francisco-based hospital system Dignity Health.
The hospital's Board of Directors decided on Dignity Health after an eight-month-long proposal and review process that included interest from five hospital organizations.
"We anticipate a mutually agreeable and beneficial outcome," said Mark Marchetti, chief executive officer for ACH, in a press release. "We hope to make a formal announcement and provide more information on our alliance in early July."
The agreement to enter into a 90-day period of one-on-one negotiations with Dignity Health, the nation's fifth-largest hospital system, was reached, April 3, Marchetti said.
Marchetti said ACH has met with the Ashland City Council to keep it up to date on the affiliation process. The City Council will have a hand in approving whatever lease arrangement emerges out of an alliance.
Asante Health System, which runs Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford; Providence Health & Services of Seattle, which operates Providence Medford Medical Center; and Capella Healthcare of Franklin, Tenn., where all turned away by ACH. RegionalCare Hospital Partners of Brentwood, Tenn., was also turned away by ACH at the beginning stages of the proposal process.
"The Board felt that Dignity Health offered the best cultural and business fit for both our hospital and our community," said Marchetti. "We were fortunate to have had four strong potential partners interested in affiliation with our hospital."
The most nearby Dignity Health institutions to Ashland are in Mount Shasta, Redding, and Red Bluff, Calif.
— Sam Wheeler