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Fisher-Titus and NOMS to partner with Firelands for new regional surgery center

By Tom Jackson • May 10, 2019 at 9:25 AM

SANDUSKY — Firelands Regional Medical Center announced Thursday it will shut down its outpatient surgery center in mid-June and then reopen it as a regional center in collaboration with two other local medical powers.

The partners are NOMS Healthcare in Perkins Township and Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk. The trio will operate the new Erie Shores Surgery Center at 2800 Hayes Ave. (Ohio 4) in Perkins Township.

That’s the current location of Firelands Surgery Center. In mid-June, the surgery center will close while Health Care Facilities Partners, which will run the center, lines up licenses and accreditations and puts together new in-network agreements with private insurance companies. Erie Shores Surgery Center will open in September or October.

In the meantime, surgeries that normally would have been performed at Firelands Surgery Center will shift to the Firelands main campus.

“Patients can be confident that there will not be a break in their care,” said Jeremy Normington-Slay, president and CEO of Firelands Regional Health System. “Through this joint venture, we have worked with the surgeons, pain management physicians, anesthesiologists, CRNAs and our whole surgery team to make sure our No. 1 priority is that our patients will be taken care of and this is a seamless transition for them.”

Firelands spokeswoman Alexandria Cruey said the new venture is seen as the best way to preserve independent, local medical operations and prevent a big, outside health care company coming with an outpatient surgery offering.

“It is very important to us to stay locally owned. The best way to do that is to work together,” Cruey said. “The last thing we wanted was for someone else to come in and do this.”

The CEOs of the three partners reinforced that point.

Fisher-Titus: “We also remain committed to engaging in collaborative partnerships with other independent, regional healthcare providers, to share in meeting the needs of those who we serve and rely on us for affordable care settings close to home,” said Dr. Brent Burkey, M.D., president and CEO of Fisher-Titus. “As such, we are excited to partner in the Erie Shores Surgery Center and look forward to providing the best care to our surgical patients when and where they need it.”

Firelands Regional Health System: “This joint venture is an opportunity to avoid duplicative services in the community and strengthen the relationship among regional healthcare providers,” Normington-Slay said. “In addition, this collaboration reinforces our ability to stay locally owned and governed. This is extremely important to us as we strive to continue to provide quality care, close to home for those who live, work, and play in our area.”

NOMS: “With NOMS' surgeons partnering with two hospitals in the region, we are able to expand on the excellent care currently being provided at Firelands Surgery Center,” said Josh Frederick, CEO of NOMS Healthcare. “Collaboratively, our three organizations will be able to keep our patients closer to home by having more outpatient procedures performed in this center. By partnering, redundant services will be minimized, and our high-quality services in the region will be expanded and maximized. All of this will result in reduced cost for our communities over time.”

The Firelands Surgery Center has between 20 to 30 employees. They will still have jobs during and after the transition, Cruey said. They’ll shift to the main campus during the transition and then will work for the joint venture, she said.

No new construction is currently planned for surgery building, she said.

Spokespeople for NOMS and Fisher-Titus couldn’t be immediately reached for comment on how the change will affect their current operations.

The Firelands Regional Health System, which includes the hospital and the Firelands Physician Group, has 2,488 employees.

Health Care Facilities Partners, the group that will run Erie Shores Surgery Center, is based in Franklin, Tenn. The privately held company has helped develop and run medical facilities across the U.S.

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