The University of Chicago Medicine and AdventHealth have closed on a transaction to form a joint venture called UChicago Medicine AdventHealth, which will combine the expertise and resources of both organizations to bring academic medicine to the western suburbs.
The two organizations announced a definitive agreement to affiliate in September 2022, with plans for UChicago Medicine to acquire a controlling interest in AdventHealth’s Great Lakes Region, which includes its four Illinois hospitals in Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Hinsdale and La Grange along with a network of nearly 50 physicians’ offices and outpatient locations.
The AdventHealth Great Lakes Region’s facilities will be co-branded as UChicago Medicine AdventHealth to build upon the complementary strengths of the two organizations, with UChicago Medicine’s national reputation as an academic health system and AdventHealth’s focus on delivering outstanding medical care in community settings.
“With the launch of this affiliation, we are blessed to continue to build on the rich legacy of whole-person care and further our mission and commitment to making these communities healthier for years to come,” said Terry Shaw, president/CEO of AdventHealth.
Under the new joint venture, which became official January 1, 2023, UChicago Medicine gains a controlling interest in AdventHealth’s Great Lakes Region. AdventHealth retains the remaining ownership and will continue to manage daily operations of all facilities. Both UChicago Medicine and AdventHealth will maintain their separate system-level governance and administrative structures.
Physicians of UChicago Medicine and AdventHealth Great Lakes will partner and coordinate care across both organizations to deliver high-quality, value-based care. This collaboration also will lead to an excellent patient experience and improved outcomes for patients.
“The biggest benefit of this partnership is to patients,” said Tom Jackiewicz, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, the hub of the UChicago Medicine health system. “AdventHealth Great Lakes’ patients now will have seamless access to UChicago Medicine’s specialty and subspecialty care and the latest clinical trials without the commute.”
“In the same vein, UChicago Medicine patients who live in the western suburbs will now have access to AdventHealth’s exceptional quality, community-based care,” said Thor Thordarson, president and CEO of AdventHealth’s Great Lakes Region. “Working together, we can accomplish more for our patients and communities, and our shared resources and expertise will mean a healthier future for the greater Chicagoland area.”
Valaitis, Nand to lead clinical integration
Medical teams from both organizations will be working in the coming months to expand programs and services, recruit more physicians and deliver even better care. To lead that effort, Sandra Valaitis, MD, has been appointed UChicago Medicine’s Chief Physician for the affiliation. Valaitis currently serves as UChicago Medicine’s Section Chief of Gynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery and Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs.
In her new position, she will be responsible for physician collaboration, clinical integration and program development for the new joint venture. She will be working closely with Bela Nand, MD, Chief Medical Officer at UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hinsdale and La Grange, who will lead the clinical integration efforts for the AdventHealth Great Lakes Region facilities.
“I am excited to work together with my colleagues at UChicago Medicine and AdventHealth to ensure we’re building bridges between organizations that will enable us to better connect care for patients — whether they’re seeing their long-time family doctor in the western suburbs or a sub-specialist in Hyde Park,” said Valaitis.
An expanding health system
The affiliation is the latest move for UChicago Medicine, an integrated academic health system that includes hospitals, outpatient clinics and physician practices throughout Chicagoland as well as in the suburbs and Northwest Indiana. UChicago Medicine has been working for many years on developing and strengthening a healthcare ecosystem for communities on the South Side and beyond. That includes plans to build Chicago’s first freestanding comprehensive cancer facility on its medical campus on the South Side, where cancer is the second-leading cause of death. It’s also building a 130,000-square-foot multispecialty ambulatory center in Crown Point to serve the growing population in Northwest Indiana. It is also collaborating with 12 community providers on the South Side Healthy Community Organization collaborative, which is working to improve access to quality care for more than 400,000 people who live on Chicago’s South Side.
AdventHealth is a faith-based health system headquartered in Florida with more than 50 hospital campuses in nine states and more than 80,000 team members, 2,400 employed physicians and almost 18,000 medical staff providers across the organization. AdventHealth’s Great Lakes Region includes UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Bolingbrook, UChicago Medicine AdventHealth GlenOaks, UChicago Medicine AdventHealth La Grange and UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hinsdale, which has been serving the community for more than 100 years, as well as nearly 50 primary and specialty practice locations and two multispecialty ambulatory centers. The Carol Stream and Woodridge ambulatory centers offer primary and specialty care providers, diagnostic imaging and lab services.