Tuesday December 20, 2011
The Louisville Metro Board of Health has posted the responses by the partners in the proposed merger of University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish & St. Mary’s Health System and Catholic Health Initiatives to questions posed by the community. The questions were submitted to the Board of Health on-line both before and after its hospital merger community forum on October 19 as well as during the forum. The responses and the community questions are available at http://www.louisvilleky.gov/health.
“We thank the merger partners for their response to the community’s many questions about the hospital merger,” said William Altman, Board of Health chairman. “Since we have just received the responses, we have not had a chance to review the material yet. We thought it was important, however, that we make the responses available to the community just as soon as we had them.”
Following the October 19 forum, the Board of Health issued a report. The Board’s report noted that many questions were raised by the community about access to health services, including reproductive health services, end of life care, and health benefits for employees. The report concluded that based on assurances made by merger representatives “the majority of services in question will continue to be provided and made available to the community. However, in certain circumstances the manner and location of these services will change and this raises potential health access and health equity concerns.”
“When access and equity concerns are raised, the threshold for assuring access to care is heightened,” said Gabriela Alcalde, Board vice chair. “It is the responsibility of the Board to be part of a process to assure that these issues are addressed in the actual delivery of service.”
The Board of Health’s key recommendation was that if the merger is approved and implemented, a mechanism for monitoring and evaluation needs to be developed.
The complete board report, as well as the community questions and merger partner responses are available at http://www.louisvilleky.gov/health.
The Louisville Metro Board of Health acts as an independent voice to promote and protect equitable physical, mental, and environmental health in the Louisville community through advocacy, education, regulation, and collaboration with public and private entities. Learn more about the Board of Health at www.louisvilleky.gov/health.