It has been just over a year since we announced the impending affiliation between Central Washington Hospital and Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, and we reached an important milestone on Jan. 1.
In the past year, there has been a significant amount of work and planning behind the scenes to obtain legal and regulatory approvals and establish the organizational structure. Although we are still waiting on some of the approvals, such as nonprofit status from the IRS, before Confluence Health (the new nonprofit organization being formed by the affiliation) can begin functioning as a fully integrated health care delivery system that includes inpatient and outpatient services, we moved forward with Phase 1 of the affiliation on Jan. 1. That means we began operating under a shared management structure. Although Central Washington Hospital and Wenatchee Valley Medical Center will remain two financially independent organizations until Phase 2 of the affiliation, this will allow us to begin to join efforts as we plan and manage operations now, with the goal of functioning as a combined organization in the future.