O’Bleness Health System Joins OhioHealth

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UPDATE 12:55 p.m. “I’m Greg Long, and I’m the president and (chief executive officer) of OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital,” Long said from a podium in the hospital’s cafe.

The room full of physicians, associates, volunteers and community members, who gathered Thursday at WillowView Cafe to celebrate the hospital officially joining OhioHealth, immediately erupted in applause.

“Doesn’t that name have a really cool ring to it?” Long added.

The new name represents the culmination of nearly six years of work to transition the health care institution into a full member of OhioHealth, a Columbus-based not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare organization with Methodist roots.

Under the new arrangement, O’Bleness will have access to the clinical expertise, financial resources and logistical support that a large healthcare system can provide, states a news release. It also becomes a “sub hub,” explained David Blom, president and chief executive officer of OhioHealth.

“O’Bleness already has high-quality healthcare,” Blom said. “Together, we can expand that further into Southeast Ohio. We want to keep healthcare local. We want to bring services here that will not cause patients to have to travel somewhere else.”

What that will look like, whether it means more specialists employed locally or having more access to equipment in Athens, remains to be seen. Blom did point to the use of the Stroke Network as one way of expanding services. The Stroke Network uses telemedicine technology to connect patients in Athens with specialists off-site.

“We can have patients examined in the ER and determine if they need to be transferred, or if they can be treated locally,” Blom said.

Previously, patients were automatically transferred to places like Riverside Methodist Hospital or Grant Medical Center.

“As the board considered the agreement, we had no doubts that OhioHealth could best help us serve this community,” Susan Quinn, OD, chair of O’Bleness’ board of directors, said in a news release. “We knew that in order to sustain a local system of care we needed a strong partner, one with similar goals and a similar commitment to serving our area.”

Prior to becoming a full member of OhioHealth, O’Bleness worked under a three-year management agreement with OhioHealth. O’Bleness is OhioHealth’s ninth full-member hospital. Some of the other hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center and OhioHealth Doctors Hospital in Nelsonville.

Article by Steve Robb and used with permission of the Athens Messenger.

O'Bleness Health System announced Thursday they are officially part of the OhioHealth system.

A partnership three years in the making, O'Blennes is now the ninth member hospital of OhioHealth.

The hospital's president and CEO said this partnership will directly benefit patients. 

"Our goals are to keep care local when it's appropriate," he said. "But, when patients have those unfortunate episodes of care that are beyond our scope of care, we will be able to transition them into the Columbus market and the OhioHealth system."

OhioHealth who has a long-standing relationship with Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, said the partnership is mutually beneficial.

"This helps us solidify relationships we've had for a long time," said Mike Louge, Executive Vice President of OhioHealth. "[We are now] able to extend our reach, bring our expertise and our resources to what is a very good healthcare enterprise here."

Plans for the future have not yet been announced, but O'Bleness said a new electronic record system will go live at the end of this month.

For more information on the partnership visit the OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital website.