Marin General Hospital, UCSF Health form strategic alliance

Marin General Hospital and UCSF Health have formed a strategic alliance to expand clinical collaborations in Marin County.

The latest partnership, announced Sept. 12, is the culmination of discussions earlier this year between the two public nonprofit health systems, but they emphasized that this is not a merger, acquisition or sale.

Marin General has been able to avoid entering into merger-and-acquisition agreements by instead building partnerships with local physicians and other community health care providers, according to Lee Domanico, CEO.

“This strategic alliance with UCSF will allow us not only to remain independent, but also to be able to provide the North Bay community with rich access to a wide range of high quality, specialized medical services right here in Marin County,” Domanico said. “With UCSF and our community partners, we will engage in multi-year planning to further enrich those services with new programs and technologies.”

Terms of the strategic alliance for MGH also include designating UCSF as its primary academic and teaching partner, adhering to UCSF’s guidelines for quality and co-branding, and installing UCSF Health’s inpatient electronic-medical-record system.

For UCSF, it will integrate MGH-affiliated physicians as part of UCSF Health while retaining the current physician and management structure; it will commit to funds for inpatient and outpatient projects that are jointly approved by both entities; and will provide outpatient electronic medical records in MGH-affiliated physicians offices.

With the two institutions already cooperating on other levels, they characterized this deal as the highest level of integration to date.

It could also lead to other collaborative projects, including new and expanded care sites with hospital and UCSF providers, and specialists throughout ?Marin County. UCSF also will have the right to nominate two directors to the Marin General board.

“This will make a tremendous difference for patients who need the specialty care of UCSF, but also want the convenience of seeing our specialists close to home,” said Mark Laret, president and CEO of UCSF Health.

The alliance is the fifth collaboration between the two institutions. The others are:

Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU): UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals physicians provide support at the Marin General NICU.

Neurosurgery: UCSF’s Department of Neurosurgery provides trauma, inpatient and outpatient services at Marin General.

Pediatric care: Marin General’s Braden Diabetes Center offers physician services for pediatric diabetes through the UCSF Madison Clinic. UCSF pediatric surgeons and anesthesiologists perform procedures at MGH, so pediatric patients and their families can stay close to home.

Cardiac surgery: UCSF’s Department of Cardiac Surgery provides Marin General call coverage and elective services.

The Marin hospital and UCSF Health are both part of Emeryville-based Canopy Health, a physician and hospital-owned healthcare alliance.

Staff Writer Cheryl Sarfaty covers tourism, hospitality, health care and education. Reach her at or 707-521-4259.

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