Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our welcome message

Tomorrow you will see a new advertisement from Community, welcoming some physicians from Upstate University Hospital to Community's medical staff. It does not mean the Upstate doctors have left their University responsibilities, only that they are now serving patients at Community too.

The idea for the message came from a Community-affiliated doctor who said that, although physicians are well aware of the presence of Upstate doctors on Community's medical staff, some patients may not be. It is impressive how many Upstate doctors now work under contracts with the Community General Hospital.

The most recent physicians to join Community's medical staff are specialists in intensive care medicine, called intensivists. They joined the staff and started working in Community's ICU this month. They followed a number of hospitalists from Upstate, who began work at Community in July.

Since 2008 Community has been served by University Emergency Physicians, the same group of emergency care specialists who practice in University Hospital downtown. Several years before that, Community welcomed to its staff specialists in rehabilitative medicine from Upstate. These professionals provide care and medical direction at the only two acute rehabilitation services in Syracuse -- at Community General and at University Hospitals.

Each of these arrangements has been made on a case-by-case basis as the need and opportunity for specialty care has arisen. The Upstate additions enhance and broaden Community's services. They do not supplant or replace them. Nor do these additions mean that the proposed merger with Upstate is a "done deal." The merger is a complex process that is still being studied.

Could there be additional instances where Community’s subspecialty depth is enhanced by physicians from Upstate? The answer is "yes," but Community does not intend to add physicians merely for the sake of doing so. These service relationships are intended to be supportive of Community's doctors in their private practices, and not as interfering with or displacing their practices.

We welcome the presence at Community of Upstate physicians, who have demonstrated an ability to cooperate and broaden coverage in patient care situations while the broader merger issues are under discussion.

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