University, Presbyterian Join First Health West

Article excerpt

University Hospitals and Presbyterian Hospital of Oklahoma City have jointed First Health West, a network of nine rural hospitals in southwest Oklahoma.

The partnership will improve the delivery of health care in a dozen southwest Oklahoma counties, Randy L. Curry, chairman of the board of First Health West, and Dr. Jay Stein, senior vice president and provost of the OU Health Sciences Center, said in a joint statement. The partnership was approved by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents last week.

First Health was formed in 1993. It includes the 283-bed Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton as well as hospitals in Carnegie, Cordell, Frederick, Hobart, Hollis, Mangum, Waurika and Weatherford.

The network also has 15 rural clinics and is the provider network for a capitated managed care plan offered by Pacificare in Oklahoma. First Health West has a hospital or clinic in 12 counties with a total population of about 300,000.

"First Health West recognized the need to affiliate with hospitals in Oklahoma City which share our vision and philosophy of health care reform and which can provide top-quality tertiary care for our HMO patients," Curry said. "We've accomplished that now."

Curry also is president of Comanche County Memorial Hospital.

Plans are being made to rotate school residents _ physicians-in-training at the OU College of Medicine _ through First Health West's rural hospitals and clinics.

Initial training programs likely will focus on primary care, including family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology. …