A historic day is on tap next week for Ransom Memorial Health. On Wednesday, Ransom Memorial Health officially joins the AdventHealth network of care and will be renamed AdventHealth Ottawa.

This change has been in the works since this past August when it was announced the RMH board of trustees signed a letter of intent to affiliate with AdventHealth.

AdventHealth Ottawa will join the Mid-America Region of AdventHealth, which also includes AdventHealth Durand, located in Durand, Wisconsin, and AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, located in Merriam. AdventHealth Shawnee Mission’s network also includes campuses in Lenexa and Overland Park.

“We are excited to welcome Ransom Memorial Health into our health system as AdventHealth Ottawa,” said Terry Shaw, president/CEO for AdventHealth. “Growing our network in this region enables us to provide Christ-centered care to even more people, and we look forward to offering healing and wholeness to the Franklin County community.”

AdventHealth is one of the largest faith-based health systems in the nation, officials said.

Matt Heyn, President/CEO of Ransom Memorial Health, said RMH has been benefitting from its partnership with Shawnee Mission for awhile.

“Our hospital and patients have already benefited from the relationship we have cultivated with AdventHealth over the years through AdventHealth Shawnee Mission,” Heyn said. “Joining one of the nation’s preeminent health systems enables us to build on our already successful track record, with the added security and support that comes from leveraging AdventHealth’s national scale to help us provide exceptional care, services and resources for those we serve.”

Sam Huenergardt, President/CEO, Mid-America Region of AdventHealth, said RMH will be a great partner for their organization and the partnership will foster better access to health care.

“The hospital has been a pillar of the community for many years and a wonderful partner with AdventHealth Shawnee Mission,” Huenergardt said. “I look forward to continuing to work together to advance our mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ in Ottawa and Franklin County.

“This is more than a name change; it’s a new beginning for our hospital. We look forward to working together with our Ransom Memorial Health team members and physicians to bring the AdventHealth brand of whole-person care to the residents of Ottawa and Franklin County.

“We have a deep-rooted history of clinical excellence and strong health care delivery systems, and we are committed to investing in our hospitals and our communities.”

For more information about AdventHealth, visit AdventHealth.com, or Facebook.com/AdventHealth.

WEDDING DAY

Huenergardt equated Wednesday’s celebration to a wedding day for couples.

“Like a wedding day, you have so much hope and optimism about the future,” he said. “It is going to be great.”

Heyn said this was about finding the right partner through building relationships that started a few years ago with Huenergardt’s predecessor.

“That relationship took off and Sam has been at Shawnee Mission for awhile and that relationship continued to grow,” Heyn said. “The one thing I honed in on the most was the mission, ‘Extending the healing Ministry of Christ.’ I wanted to litmus test that mission statement. It took a few years. They really do believe in their mission. It seems like sometimes faith-based organizations are health facilities first and fall back on their mission. The mission is their priority, front and center. I am excited to bring that mission to Franklin County and the patients we serve. There will be some great things that will come out of that.”

Huenergardt said Wednesday is a special day, but that is just the beginning of the relationship.

“You can expect to see many more exciting changes ahead as we strive to elevate every aspect of how we deliver health care services to the Ottawa community, and we look forward to partnering with you on this journey, and to a healthy future together,” he said.

MERGING ORGANIZATIONS

The past eight or nine months have been busy putting together legal documents and implementing ways to merge the organizations.

“It was important to make sure everything was documented to make sure that the agreement reflects what is best for the community, what is best for the system,” Huenergardt said. “We have reached the end of it. We are both proud of the work product. We are excited about the future.

“It has been easy and complicated. These are complex transactions. More of the difficulty has been around the complexity and not at all about the intent or desired outcome. It has been easy because both partners want the same thing in terms of what is best for the Franklin County community. It has been difficult in terms of what is needed for a document of this size and scope.”

Heyn said getting the agreement together is just icing on the cake. He said RMH officials have been eyeing a partnership since he came aboard five years ago.

“The pavement has been laid since I started almost five years ago in trying to help the community understand the future state of health care,” Heyn said. “The norms of today will not be the norms of tomorrow. We needed to start looking for who we wanted to partner with. The transaction of the last eight or nine months have been the most intense component of the deal. There has been a lot of legwork with the community helping them understand rural health care and how we can move forward in the future.”

Huenergardt said RMH has a good track record in the health care field.

“Ransom is a high quality organization,” he said. “A four-star medicare-rated organization with good patient experience. They have had some challenges in the past. Where we can step in to help is with access to more specialists and connection with a system. It is a good partnership that will serve both of our organizations well. It is a win, win, win.”

Heyn said the size of AdventHealth is a major reason behind the merger.

“They can leverage areas otherwise we can’t leverage on our own because of our size,” Heyn said. “When you look at Kansas City metropolitan area there is really two health systems that have size. One of them is for profit and don’t carry the mission statement I am so fond of. The other one is non-profit with a Christ-driven ministry. It became easy to figure out quickly this was our partner. It feels good to culminate that.”

Huenergardt said, “By having a larger partner in the market and having a strong system to back up the region, the community will have resources that they would have never have access to without a partnership like this. This relates to mobile apps and high-functioning electronic health records. It is all focused around making the experience of the patient a better one. The great things they have been getting from Ransom Memorial Hospital will continue and we will be able to add on to that with what resources we can bring on the strength of our system.”

Heyn said the community does not need to fret about the quality of care or the use of the sales tax proceeds.

“The community needs to know that relationship will fill the health care needs of Franklin County for decades to come,” he said. “The community needs to understand the quality of the organization that we are going to be partnering with. The community needs to expect growth from a health care standpoint. We have a lot of great things in the pipeline. The community needs to rest their minds on the sales tax. The control of the sales tax is with the RMH board that will continue to exist. We will work in collaboration with the new board on projects and ideas. The very valuable sales tax they are generating — to help support health care — is going to remain local and it is going to be reviewed and approved by the RMH board.”