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NorthBay Healthcare has become the first health care organization in Northern California to join the rapidly growing Mayo Clinic Care Network.

With the agreement announced Thursday, NorthBay, which services Solano County, gains access to the latest Mayo Clinic research and knowledge. NorthBay officials said having the connection will promote collaboration among physicians for the benefit of patients. Patient’s providers will be able to get quick answers from Mayo specialists who have extensive experience treating multiple cases of rarely occurring conditions.

“Long admiring Mayo Clinic from afar, it struck me how much we share a vision of why we exist and how we do what we do,” said Gary J. Passama, president and CEO of NorthBay Healthcare. “We want our friends, families and neighbors in Solano County to live longer, happier, healthier lives through access to the highest level of knowledge and expertise. Collaborating with others to provide the best care possible for patients is part of Mayo Clinic’s culture and part of ours.”

Launched in 2011, the Mayo Clinic Care Network has more than 35 member organizations in the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico and Singapore. Elsewhere in California, Palomar Health in San Diego joined the Care Network in 2013.

As a member of the care network, NorthBay Healthcare will work closely with Mayo to share medical knowledge and clinical expertise. Local physicians will have access to network services and information, including:

• eConsults that allow NorthBay Healthcare physicians to connect electronically and directly with Mayo specialists for more input on a patient’s care.

• AskMayoExpert, a database for reference at the point of care to offer the latest Mayo-vetted information on the evaluation and treatment of a variety of medical conditions.

• Health care consulting that enables NorthBay Healthcare to learn more about Mayo’s clinical, operational and business models, including how they are designed and implemented.

• eTumor Board conferences that invite NorthBay Healthcare physicians to present and discuss complex cancer cases with a multidisciplinary panel of Mayo specialists and other network members.

NorthBay Healthcare providers also can access Mayo’s extensive library of patient education materials and watch archived Mayo Clinic grand rounds presentations that feature Mayo Clinic physicians and scientists.

“We are pleased to welcome NorthBay to the Mayo Clinic Care Network,” said Keith Cannon, M.D., medical director, Southwest Region, Mayo Clinic Care Network. “Over the past year, we’ve taken time to get well-acquainted, and NorthBay’s commitment to meeting patients’ needs and serving the community resonates with Mayo’s deeply held values. We look forward to working together.”

The Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical practice and medical research organization based in Rochester, Minnesota, with campuses in Arizona and Florida. With more than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers, the Mayo Clinic spends more than $500 million on research each year, and is widely regarded as one of the best hospitals in the world.

NorthBay Healthcare’s roots go back to 1954, when community leaders began raising money to build a locally owned, locally managed nonprofit hospital for Solano County. Intercommunity Memorial Hospital opened in 1960 in Fairfield, and became NorthBay Medical Center in 1987, when NorthBay VacaValley Hospital opened in Vacaville.

Today, NorthBay Medical Group includes more than 100 providers who offer primary and specialty care at medical offices throughout Fairfield and Vacaville. NorthBay Healthcare operates two full-service acute-care hospitals, a Level 2 trauma center, a heart and vascular center, a neonatal intensive care unit, a center for neuroscience, the NorthBay Cancer Center and the Center for Women’s Health. This summer, it will open HealthSpring, a medically integrated health and fitness center in Vacaville.