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P&S Journal

P&S Journal: Fall 1996, Vol.16, No.3
A Message From The Dean

August 1996

Columbia and Cornell: An Alliance for Clinical Practice
Presbyterian and New York Hospitals: A Merger

Dear Alumni, Faculty, Students, and Friends of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center:

I am taking this opportunity to inform you about two important actions that will affect the future of our medical school and the entire medical center.

Every medical school depends upon a faculty that practices medicine in conjunction with teaching and research. Columbia is fortunate to have one of the finest clinical faculties in the world. Our very impressive showings this year in American Health magazine's "Best Doctors in America" and New York magazine's "Best Doctors in New York" and our continually strong position in medical school rankings affirm our assertion that Columbia medicine is among the best in the world and second to none in New York.

We all know that the stability of faculty practices is threatened by radical changes occurring in the health care marketplace, primarily because of managed care. To address this, Columbia and Cornell universities announced their intention to create a physician alliance between the clinical faculties of their two medical schools. The goal is to create a strong partnership that can compete in the managed care marketplace for a larger share of the patient pool in the New York City metropolitan region. The alliance will help us acquire state-of-the-art systems that can provide services to our clinicians and realize savings through economies of scale and more efficient clinical practice operations. We may also eventually consider the possibility of opening new practice sites in areas that will be convenient for more patients. The two medical centers have more than 2,800 clinical faculty at their primary affiliated hospitals, making this clinical alliance not only one of the largest but one of the best clinical networks anywhere. It will be designed to enable physicians at other affiliates to join over time, which could eventually encompass another 8,000 clinicians at institutions affiliated with the two medical centers. We anticipate the network will begin operation in 1997.

Let me emphasize that it is not-let me repeat, not-a merger of the medical schools. Both schools will continue as independent operations in all of their academic functions, and faculty of each institution will continue in their current appointments. Educational and research programs are not involved in the alliance; they will continue as distinct and separate operations under the jurisdiction of their respective universities. We are collaborating for managed care contracting and improved systems and services to support the faculty practices of the two institutions, which will continue to operate within the two schools. My dedication to and, I hope, your loyalty to and support for the College of Physicians and Surgeons will not be changed by this practice alliance.

In conjunction with our announcement, Presbyterian and New York hospitals declared their intention to merge. The two institutions have entered a due diligence process and anticipate forming one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the country.

Together these two developments will position Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center to continue its preeminent role in academic medicine, with a strong new foundation for adjusting to the new national health care system. I will continue to keep you informed as new developments occur. Your support and advice for these efforts will be a critical factor in their success, and I urge you to express that support in every way possible as we move forward.


Herbert Pardes, M.D.
Vice President for Health Sciences and
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

copyright ©, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

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