KEENE — Dartmouth-Hitchcock will pursue an affiliation with Cheshire Medical Center, a 169-bed hospital in Keene where the organizations already have close ties, the two hospital organizations announced on Monday.
Trustees of both CMC and Dartmouth-Hitchcock have endorsed the agreement, which now goes to the New Hampshire Attorney General for regulatory review, which includes public forums. The two organizations hope for the agreement to become effective this fall.
Sylvia McBeth, chair of Cheshire Medical Center’s board, said the agreement will enhance CMC’s ability to meet the health needs of the region’s residents and strengthen the sustainability of the services the hospital offers.
“We will continue to provide our community the highest quality of medical care, and will strengthen our focus on prevention and wellness,” she said in prepared remarks.
Since 1998, the two organizations have worked under a joint operating agreement that has Dartmouth-Hitchcock supply most of the hospital’s medical staff.
The proposed affiliation will allow CMC to further align its governance, clinical, financial and administrative activities with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the statement reads. Cheshire Medical Center will retain its status as a separate legal organization with its own trustees, management and employees, subject to certain approval powers by Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
Affiliation plans calls for a population health strategy, the statement reads. The affiliation should also free up beds in Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center trauma care and tertiary care centers in Lebanon.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock finalized an affiliation with New London Hospital last year, said spokesman Rick Adams. Affiliations have also been announced with Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon and Mt. Ascutney Hospital in Windsor, Vt.