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Geisinger Health System and Commonwealth Medical College Finalize Partnership to Create Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Agreement will strengthen local care and create a Pennsylvania physician pipeline

Jan. 1, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

SCRANTON, Pa. –- Geisinger Health System and The Commonwealth Medical College have received all necessary regulatory approvals and have closed on their legal integration creating the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, effective Jan. 1. This announcement solidifies the two organizations’ resolve to work together to build a fully-integrated learning experience while also filling a tremendous need for physicians in northeastern and north-central Pennsylvania. Geisinger becomes one of just a few organizations in the country that brings together a health system, health plan and medical school.

“Joining together a world-class health system and health plan with a young, innovative school of medicine will make our region a hub for medical education, research and discovery,” said David T. Feinberg, M.D., MBA, Geisinger President and CEO. “Through this partnership, Geisinger Commonwealth will continue to realize the vision and mission of its original founders to provide high-quality healthcare to patients in the region for generations to come.”

This partnership strengthens each organization’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities, and to demonstrate sustained improvements in health outcomes of the area population. Given Geisinger’s investments in electronic health records, data analysis and pioneering ProvenCare delivery models, this partnership presents a rare opportunity to work more closely with physicians from the very beginning of their careers in the service of improving population health. Geisinger Commonwealth is also uniquely positioned to create innovative new masters degree programs that leverage the health system’s signature excellence in areas like genomics and information technology. These and other programs will be designed to deliver a complete spectrum of education to build the healthcare teams of the future.

“Both Geisinger and TCMC have focused on developing empathy as a key skill in a changing healthcare landscape,” said Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., who will continue to serve as the school of medicine’s president and dean and becomes chief academic officer and executive vice president at Geisinger Health System. “Geisinger through its emphasis on Caring and ProvenExperience program, which offers refunds to patients based on kindness and compassion, and TCMC through its Family Centered Program, which pairs medical students with multi-generational families in their first two years of instruction. We all believe that empathy, compassion and kindness are key to the future of medicine and look forward to creating an impact in these areas as healthcare evolves and transforms.”

Both Dr. Scheinman and Dr. Feinberg emphasized that the medical college’s many close relationships with community partners will be maintained during and afer transition to Geisinger Commonwealth.

With the nation facing both looming physician shortages and shortages in residency slots, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine will ensure that northeastern and north central Pennsylvania has a development pipeline of well-trained, highly-qualified professional and compassionate doctors that will care for their families and friends for generations to come. The partnership will allow both institutions to leverage further the academic, clinical and research components of both organizations by consolidating these efforts within the school of medicine.

“Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine will continue the community-first emphasis that TCMC has built in its short history,” said Dr. Feinberg. “Our students, physicians and staff will continue to be immersed in the social context and the impact of illness on the lives of patients. Together we will offer a secure, stable environment in which to educate the physicians of the future.”

All TCMC employees are now employees of Geisinger Health System, and will be transitioned to Geisinger benefits over the coming year as the organizations integrate. Other than the name and branding changes, business will continue as usual for students, faculty and staff of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine through the integration process, and all previously scheduled college events will take place as planned.

About Geisinger
Geisinger Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development of innovative care delivery models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®. As one of the nation’s largest health service organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania, and also in southern New Jersey with the addition of AtlantiCare, a National Malcolm Baldrige Award recipient. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 30,000 employees, including nearly 1,600 employed physicians, 12 hospital campuses, two research centers and a 551,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $10.5 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economy. Geisinger has repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or follow the latest Geisinger news and more on Twitter and Facebook

About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Founded as The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) in 2008, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine is one of the nation’s newest fully accredited medical colleges. The college offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Sayre, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport. The college offers a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) degree. The college’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its 17-county region in northeast and north central Pennsylvania as well as from across the state and the nation.

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CONTACTS: Wendy Wilson, Geisinger Health System, Vice President of Media, 570-808-5813, 570-840-0878 (c), wkwilson@geisinger.edu; Elizabeth Zygmunt, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, 570-504-9687; 570-335-3919 (c), EZygmunt@tcmc.edu