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Published on October 13, 2014

Columbia Surgical Associates, MU Health System Will Affiliate

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Columbia Surgical Associates and the University of Missouri Health System will affiliate to expand access to health care for patients in central Missouri, effective Jan. 1, 2015, leaders of both organizations announced today.

MU Health Care employs more than 500 university physicians, including approximately 140 specialty surgeons. Columbia Surgical Associates is comprised of 10 surgeons specializing in general, bariatric, vascular, colorectal and breast cancer surgery, along with 35 other health professionals, support and administrative staff.

“Health care today requires collaboration across multiple hospitals and clinics, medical specialists and geographic boundaries,” said Mitch Wasden, MU Health Care chief executive officer and chief operating officer. “During the past 18 months, Columbia Surgical Associates and the MU Health System have been discussing ways we could work together to advance health care in central Missouri.”

Columbia Surgical Associates has provided surgical care in central Missouri for more than 50 years. Its founder, E.J. “Jack” Schewe Jr., M.D., completed his surgical training at Ellis Fischel State Cancer Hospital and served as chief surgeon at Ellis from 1956-61.

“Columbia Surgical Associates and MU Health Care share a common mission of providing world-class, patient-centered care,” said Walter Peters, M.D., president and senior partner of Columbia Surgical Associates. “In this new affiliation, Columbia Surgical Associates and MU Health Care will be collaborating on patient-centered care across patient populations and surgical specialties.”

CSA physicians perform many surgical procedures at Boone Hospital Center. The new affiliation means they will also have privileges at University Hospital, MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital and other MU Health Care facilities.

“For years, Columbia’s health care community has discussed ways to build bridges between community and university physicians and strengthen Columbia’s position as a destination for excellent surgical care,” Peters said. “Today’s announcement is historic because of this groundbreaking ‘town-gown’ affiliation. It will benefit CSA patients, who will now have more choices about where they want to receive care.”

“We consider the proposed affiliation to be a model for integrating health care resources to better serve patients, while preserving the historic strengths of the university and community physicians providing the care,” Wasden said.

Peters and Wasden said goals of the affiliation include:

  • Improving efficiency in the delivery of health care services for patients in central Missouri and throughout the state
  • Building on Columbia’s already-excellent reputation as a destination for specialty surgical care
  • Giving patients of Columbia Surgical Associates a choice they have not had before: Using MU Health Care hospitals and clinics for surgical procedures
  • Creating new opportunities for MU School of Medicine faculty and community physicians to collaborate on teaching the next generation of health care providers
  • Facilitating the development, implementation and monitoring of best practices for improving patient outcomes
  • Continuing to expand use of the electronic medical record and similar technology

As part of the affiliation agreement, Columbia Surgical Associates will retain its unique identity, and CSA physicians and staff will continue to serve patients at 3220 Bluff Creek Drive in Columbia. The MU Health System will establish a separate corporation for the affiliation with Columbia Surgical Associates. Other terms of the affiliation will be addressed in final transaction documents.