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News and Information

April 12, 2013

Franciscan Health System Welcomes Highline Medical Center

Franciscan now has six hospitals in south Puget Sound

Highline Medical Center in Burien is now part of the Franciscan Health System becoming the sixth hospital in the Franciscan organization. Highline’s affiliation with Franciscan creates opportunities for collaboration that will benefit patients and the broader community.

The Highline –Franciscan affiliation was announced in June, 2012 and became final April 1, 2013 after completion of reviews by state and federal regulatory agencies.

“This is an exciting and historic day for Franciscan, Highline and the community,” says Franciscan Health System Chief Executive Officer Joe Wilczek. “The goals for this affiliation are to ensure the highest quality of care for patients, expand access to care for everyone, and reduce the cost of care. Our new health care partnership will benefit the community for generations.”

“Our alliance with a high-caliber organization like Franciscan brings incredible strength to our ability to achieve our mission and meet the needs of the communities that we serve,” Highline Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Mark Benedum said.

As the newest member of the non-profit Franciscan organization, Highline Medical Center has joined one of the largest integrated health systems in the state. Franciscan includes St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; and the Franciscan Medical Group network of primary-care and specialty-care clinics with more than 350 physicians and other professional providers practicing in King, Pierce and Kitsap counties. Franciscan has been ranked among the Top 100 Integrated Health Networks in the nation annually since 2004.

Highline Medical Center was established in 1958 and includes a 154-bed acute care hospital, a 115-bed specialty center, more than 20 clinics across from West Seattle to Vashon Island, and the Highline Medical Center Foundation. Its services include 24-hour emergency and trauma care, critical care, cardiac care, cancer care, inpatient medical and surgical care, imaging services, outpatient surgery, home health and hospice, addiction recovery, and physical rehabilitation. Highline has more than 1,500 employees. Its medical staff includes more than 200 physicians with active and courtesy medical privileges.

As the integration of Highline with Franciscan continues over the next several months, staff at both organizations will collaborate to provide high quality care by sharing best practices and resources. The organizations also envision expanding access to an array of services – from primary to specialized care– on a scale neither could achieve on its own.

Another benefit of affiliation will be a state-of-the-art electronic health record connecting Highline facilities and physicians with each other as well as with Franciscan hospitals, clinics and providers. Franciscan selected the Epic clinical information technology platform for its system-wide electronic health record that is planned to start going live in June 2013 and at Highline Medical Center in spring 2014. The system will feature a “patient portal” so patients can securely and confidentially communicate with their physicians, request prescription refills, set up appointments and receive test results.

Franciscan Health System, which is based in Tacoma, has approximately 8,300 employees and a medical staff of 1,400 physicians and other professional providers. It is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national non-profit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colorado.

News Media Contact:

Scott Thompson
P: (253) 382-3858
E: ScottThompson@fhshealth.org