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Release: July 2, 1999

Marengo Memorial Hospital becomes an affiliate of UI Hospitals and Clinics

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Marengo Memorial Hospital have created an affiliation of the two hospitals and placed a chief executive officer, employed by the UI Hospitals and Clinics, at the Marengo hospital beginning July 1.

Marengo Memorial Hospital, approximately 30 miles northwest of Iowa City, is the only hospital in Iowa County. It provides acute, skilled and extended care, as well as outpatient support services.

"This does not involve a transfer of assets," explained R. Edward Howell, UI Hospitals and Clinics director and CEO. "The Marengo Memorial Hospital maintains its autonomy and identity. The Marengo board of trustees has contracted with the UI Hospitals and Clinics for management expertise, but ownership and control is unchanged."

The contract establishes a formal affiliation with the UI Hospitals and Clinics, including management support. Marengo Memorial Hospital is the first community hospital to formally affiliate with the UI Hospitals and Clinics. The agreement provides that although the CEO will be employed by the UI Hospitals and Clinics, the CEO will be selected by both hospitals. The CEO will work full time in Marengo and report to both the Marengo hospital's board of trustees and the UI Hospitals and Clinics' administration.

"Marengo Memorial has come a long way in the past year," commented Charles Merritt, chair of the Marengo hospital board of trustees. "Last year at this time we were struggling financially. The residents and businesses in Marengo and the surrounding communities responded with tremendous enthusiasm in providing the financial support we needed to get to where we are today. The hospital is doing well and board members felt it was time to formalize an affiliation with the university."

The UI Hospitals and Clinics has worked collaboratively with the Marengo hospital through teleradiology, consultation and other ventures. During the past nine months, management advice and physician services for emergency medicine have been added to the relationship.

"The university really came through when we needed them. After explaining the situation, they not only didn't turn a cold shoulder, they offered help immediately," Merritt explained.

"The UI Hospitals and Clinics' long-time mission has been to operate in support of community-based hospitals and physicians," noted Howell. "Our assistance to the residents of Marengo and Iowa County through their community hospital is a further expression of our commitment to maintaining a strong, community-based health system in Iowa."