Health groups to work together

Baystate Health, UMass Memorial see common ground

GREENFIELD — Baystate Health, the parent company of Greenfield’s Baystate Franklin Medical Center, has agreed to “explore new collaborative opportunities” with the Worcester-based UMass Memorial Health Care.

That does not mean that the two companies are, or will be, discussing a merger, insisted Benjamin Craft, spokesman for Baystate Health.

But both companies have things they can teach one another, said Craft. Baystate is great at treating chronic heart failure and UMass Memorial excels at taking care of diabetic patients, he said.

There are also many public health research grants that require a minimum number of patients, said Craft. Applying together for grants will allow the health systems to access money they wouldn’t be able to separately, he said.

“We are similar organizations in a number of ways,” said Craft. “We’re encountering similar community health issues (and) socioeconomic issues. ... We see some common ground in our mission.”

He said it’s too early to say what impact these collaborations will have on individual community hospitals, like Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

UMass Memorial, the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, is the largest not-for-profit health center in central Massachusetts. It has 1,125 beds across five hospitals, according to its website.

Baystate Health has a total of 783 beds across four facilities in Greenfield, Ware and Springfield.

You can reach Chris Shores at:
cshores@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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