UMMC and Vanderbilt University Medical Center announce affiliation agreementPublished on Monday, February 26, 2018University of Mississippi Medical Center and Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials have announced a strategic affiliation agreement that establishes a collaborative relationship between the two institutions. The agreement:allows the two institutions to form and to share new clinical programs and services;provides a pathway for UMMC and VUMC to formally collaborate on a broad range of health and wellness initiatives and clinical services;allows the two institutions to jointly collaborate on medical innovation programs and clinical research opportunities; andpositions both organizations to explore opportunities for collaboration in medical education and training. According to Dr. Charles O’Mara, UMMC associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs, market forces have made it necessary for progressive health systems to seek new ways to improve the quality, value and experience of health care services for patients in Mississippi and Tennessee. O'Mara“VUMC and UMMC share the common goal of improving the health of the populations we serve through outstanding patient care, biomedical research and teaching,” O’Mara said. “As the leading academic medical centers in our respective adjoining states, we also face many of the same or similar opportunities and challenges in today’s changing health care landscape.“Fortunately, both institutions currently enjoy an upward trajectory on many fronts and have strengths that nicely complement one another. This collaboration just makes good sense, and we’re excited and honored to be affiliating with such highly respected colleagues at Vanderbilt.”Patients in Mississippi and Tennessee can benefit from shared evidence-based practices in areas of common interest, while clinicians and researchers will have new opportunities for cross-institutional collaboration.Pinson“Year after year, southern states consistently rank near the bottom in the nation for certain health and wellness metrics,” said Dr. C. Wright Pinson, VUMC deputy chief executive officer and chief health system officer. “This agreement creates opportunities for our organizations to develop programs and services that will benefit the communities we serve while advancing our mission to improve the health of citizens who live throughout the Southeast.“We look forward to working closely with colleagues at UMMC as we go about this important work.”Both organizations will contribute substantial strengths to the relationship. For example, UMMC is nationally recognized for its advanced telemedicine capabilities and for its tertiary clinical services that benefit the citizens of Mississippi, while VUMC is similarly recognized for its research, training programs and advanced capabilities in clinical care.Cook“We believe there are a wide range of possible areas for collaboration,” said Kevin Cook, UMMC health system CEO. “Some are clinical in nature, such as working together to enhance our respective drug formularies, while others are more business-oriented, such as improved supply chain performance.” Each institution remains independent and free to pursue individual initiatives. This strategic affiliation agreement provides a framework for both institutions to collaborate in select areas.