Swedish and SEARHC sign letter of intent to expand access to specialty care for patients in Southeast Alaska

September 10, 2018

Swedish and the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) have signed a letter of intent to expand access to specialty health care services in Southeast Alaska. The partnership, planned to begin in the fall of 2018, will provide SEARHC patients with greater access to much-needed specialty care closer to home, including onsite and virtual clinical care at SEARHC facilities. It will also allow for seamless transitions of care when SEARHC patients choose to travel to Seattle for higher levels of care.

Under this agreement, Swedish specialty providers – including, rheumatology, neurologists, urologists, cardiologists and dermatologists – will provide onsite care at least monthly at SEARHC’s Sitka facilities.

The partnership will also enable a better-coordinated health care experience, with an integrated information system that will allow sharing of electronic health records, so patients who require care beyond SEARHC’s capabilities can choose to be treated at a Swedish acute care facility in Washington without any disruption in care.

“This partnership will ensure that Southeast Alaskan patients have access to more health care services they require,” said Swedish Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Guy Hudson. “Through this partnership, we will help increase access to care for patients in their own communities as well as ensure that there is continuity of care for SEARHC patients when travel is required and patients choose to come to a Swedish facility.”

SEARHC identified Swedish as an ideal partner whose commitment to high-quality care and whose mission, vision and values are in concert with SEARHC’s.

“Our patients’ and communities’ health care needs are changing, and they rely on us for both primary and specialty services,” said SEARHC President and Chief Executive Officer, Charles Clement. “A partnership with Swedish will expand the breadth of quality specialty services in Southeast Alaska and will provide enhanced continuous care for SEARHC patients. Additionally, the affiliation will provide access to a higher level of care in Washington for those patients who want to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Swedish and SEARHC hope to finalize an agreement in early fall 2018.