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Advanced Healthcare and Aurora Health Care agree to form broad new alliance to improve care

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Affiliation of physician-led organizations will bring many benefits for patients

Advanced Healthcare and Aurora Health Care today announced that the two physician-led organizations will come together under a broad affiliation agreement that will enhance care for patients and better serve the community.

“We could not be more excited about this,” said Eugene Monroe, M.D., president of Advanced Healthcare. “Together we will be able to do much more for our patients, improving quality and controlling the cost of care. It’s the combination of quality and cost that defines true value in health care.”

Nick Turkal, M.D., chief executive officer of Aurora Health Care, also praised the agreement.

“Our two organizations make a wonderful match,” Dr. Turkal said. “We both put the patient at the center of all we do. We share very similar visions and values, and we’re both committed to continually improving quality and finding new ways to make health care more efficient and effective.”

John Konkel, M.D., chairman of the board of Advanced Healthcare, explained that Advanced had sought an affiliation that would allow for the Advanced physicians to coordinate care over a broad spectrum of services and patient needs.

“It’s called integrated health care, and we believe it is the best and most efficient way to provide care,” Dr. Konkel said. “It became clear to us that Aurora was the right partner. The people of Aurora have created Wisconsin’s most fully integrated health care system.”

Advanced Healthcare and Aurora Health Care began discussing a potential alliance last fall. The boards of directors of the two organizations endorsed an agreement in the spring, and the physician shareholders of Advanced voted overwhelmingly this month to approve the agreement.

“We are delighted with this agreement,” said Donald J. Nestor, Aurora’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Our two organizations believe in the same things – clinical quality improvement, service excellence, innovation, even our approach to patient care. Working together, there is much we will be able to achieve for those we serve.”

Bev Greenberg, chair of the Aurora Board of Directors and vice president of Time Warner Cable, said: “This is a wonderful thing for our community. We are bringing together some of the most talented people in health care in Wisconsin, and this will deliver enormous benefits for patients.”

Under the agreement, the leadership team at Advanced Healthcare will remain intact and continue to oversee all of the operations of the 14 Advanced clinics. The clinics are located in Brookfield, Germantown, Glendale, Grafton, Hubertus, Menomonee Falls, Mequon, Milwaukee, New Berlin, Port Washington and Wauwatosa.

Advanced patients will have access to all of the services of Aurora Health Care, including the advanced tertiary care available at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, the outstanding care available to women and infants at Aurora

Sinai Medical Center and the Aurora Women’s Pavilion at West Allis Memorial Hospital, and the home care services available through the Aurora Visiting Nurse Association.

Likewise, the many thousands of Aurora employees and their family members in the Milwaukee area will have access to the primary and specialty physicians of Advanced Healthcare.

To ensure that the patients of Advanced and Aurora have easy access to care and realize the full benefits of integrated care delivery, Advanced and Aurora will establish a hospital to serve patients in the northeastern part of the metropolitan area. The new hospital will be built near Interstate 43 and Highway 60 in the Village of Grafton. It will feature a 24-hour emergency department and a full array of other hospital services.

Advanced and Aurora both have in place extensive quality improvement and clinical research initiatives. “We look forward to combining our efforts and learning from each other,” Dr. Monroe said. “Aurora’s disciplined approach to quality improvement has made it a leader in implementing best practices and finding better ways to deliver care. Our physicians share in this pursuit of clinical excellence.”

The affiliation of Aurora and Advanced brings together two physician-led organizations that are committed to leading change in health care.

“We recognize that much reform is needed in America’s health care system,” Dr. Turkal said. “We simply must find better ways to make care accessible and affordable for all, and also to ensure that all patients benefit from best practices in medical care. We firmly believe that integrated health care is part of the solution.”

Dr. Monroe agreed. “Many of the failures of our country’s health care system can be traced to the fragmented nature of care delivery,” he said. “If we can coordinate care for our patients, ensuring that they receive the right care at the right time and in the right place, we can improve outcomes and reduce costs. That’s what integrated care is all about, and that’s what Advanced and Aurora will work toward.”

Falls Medical Group and Milwaukee Medical Clinic merged in January 1998 to form Advanced Healthcare. Advanced consists of about 250 primary care physicians and specialists providing care at 14 clinics located in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact:

Eugene Monroe, M.D.
Advanced Healthcare
414-352-5161 Ext. 4116

Jeff Squire
Aurora Health Care
414-647-3408

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