UC Davis Medical Center, Dameron Hospital to expand services

On Nov. 15, the University of California Board of Regents approved a limited liability company (LLC) between UC Davis Medical Center (UCDMC), located at 2315 Stockton Blvd. in Sacramento, and Dameron Hospital, located at 525 Acacia St. in Stockton. This collaboration was initiated by both parties to bring more advanced medical services to the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) located in the Central Valley.

Creighton Younnel, public information officer for Dameron Hospital, was not able to disclose much detail about the collaboration, but said that the establishment of the LLC between both medical providers will be very advantageous for the Stockton facility by expanding medical expertise in order to better provide for the SJV.

“We see our relationship with UCDMC as a great expansion of our expertise locally,” Younnel said. “We are bringing more physicians and expanding our communication through UCDMC.”

Chief executive officer of UCDMC Ann Madden Rice said that in early 2011, Dameron Hospital and UCDMC had preliminary discussions that focused on expanding Dameron’s health system. Because of many economic factors such as the uncertainty regarding healthcare changes and costs due to market pressure from health insurances, it was a key strategy to work with Dameron in helping the needs of the SJV.

“An LLC is a legal structure for two or more entities to come together for specific operational purposes. The reason we propose using that legal structure is that UC Davis has previously used that structure successfully,” Rice said.

Such successful LLC partnerships that UCDMC has worked with include cancer services in Marysville, Yuba City and other services at the Fremont Rideout Medical Center.

Rice said that UC Davis is a “national innovator in telemedic services in providing healthcare and healthcare education in remote locations.” Therefore, one of the medical services that will be established among the Dameron community is telemedicine, the use of telecommunication in providing healthcare services to those located far from their primary provider.

According to a UCDMC press release, Dameron Hospital has 202 beds while UCDMC has 619 beds. Dameron has over 1,200 employees and 400 affiliated physicians, and functions as a not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital with services also provided in the surrounding areas of the SJV.

When asked about opportunities for UC Davis students at the Dameron location, Rice said that there may a possibility in the future. For now, their short-term goal is to work with Dameron in ensuring that they have the necessary infrastructure to have a positive educational experience.

Because an ongoing process is in the works, further details are not available to the public yet. The legal process is approximated to be up to six months and the collaboration is expected to take effect next summer.

“We think that UC Davis has a long and rich history in working in a positive way with the SJV, and we think this is an extension to enhance both organizations,” Rice said.

MEE YANG can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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