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Christus St. Vincent joins Mayo Clinic network

SANTA FE – Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center has become a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, offering the Santa Fe hospital access to the Mayo Clinic’s resources and specialists.

The Santa Fe hospital is the first health care organization in New Mexico to join up with the Mayo Clinic. The Minnesota-based health care nonprofit, which also has facilities in Arizona and Florida and operates a graduate program in medicine, began the network in 2011. It currently includes about 40 health systems internationally.

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Lillian Montoya, president and CEO of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, holds a news conference Tuesday to announce a partnership with the Mayo Clinic. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

During a Monday announcement event, Christus St. Vincent’s president and CEO Lillian Montoya described Mayo Clinic as a “global leader in the delivery of outstanding health care.”

“We believe in all corners of our community that people deserve access to the best patient care possible,” Montoya said. She said Christus St. Vincent has been working on the partnership for almost a year.

“Through this arrangement, our patients don’t have to travel somewhere else. They can get their care here. That’s what this relationship means to us and our community.”

According to Christus St. Vincent chief medical officer John Beeson and Dr. Keith Cannon, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Network for the Southwest region, the partnership will give the hospital access to the Mayo Clinic’s latest medical research, archived educational materials for hospital staff, and e-consultation with Mayo Clinic specialists. Mayo patient education materials are another benefit.

Beeson called the AskMayoExpert online database one of the “finest catalogues or libraries of critically current information on treatment.” He also noted that doctors in Santa Fe can participate in the Mayo Clinic’s Tumor Boards, conferences where pieces of tissue from local patients can be presented for discussion with Mayo Clinic doctors.

There won’t be Mayo Clinic personnel stationed at Christus St. Vincent, Cannon told the Journal, but there will be a team in Phoenix that will stay in touch with personnel here. But the staffers from the Mayo Clinic campuses could come work with health care providers in Santa Fe or vice versa.

“The membership doesn’t imply any need or gap here,” Cannon said. “We’re here to complement the expertise that already exists here and the physicians and other members of the team are under no obligation to use the tools. They use these tools and services when they feel it would be in the best interest of the patients they’re caring for.”

Mayo Clinic brings institutions into the network that it believes are “philosophically and culturally similar” to its mission, said the Network’s medical director Dr. David Hayes.

“And really that means high-quality and patient-centric,” he said. Hayes said more than 1,000 organizations have asked about being part of the Mayo network, but just the 40 have made it through the process.

The partnership is a non-ownership arrangement, according to Montoya. The additional resources do not bring an extra cost to patients or their insurance providers, she said. The hospital pays a fee for the membership that is determined by the institution’s size and the resources that are expected to be utilized. Montoya said she could not disclose the cost of the hospital’s membership.

“It’s just an investment that this community is worth,” she said.

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