WHH Board of Trustees Votes to Partner with BayCare

January 22, 2013

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – January 22, 2013 – With the due diligence process substantially complete, Winter Haven Hospital and BayCare will seek regulatory approval while drafting a definitive agreement. The definitive agreement will involve the creation of a partnering structure that will sustain and enhance Winter Haven Hospital’s mission in the community while maintaining significant community involvement.

“The competitive landscape for regional healthcare providers such as ours is being shaped by national healthcare reform and being part of a larger organization such as BayCare will assure the community-focused legacy of Winter Haven Hospital,” said Mark Bostick, chair of the Winter Haven Hospital Board of Trustees.

“BayCare Health System is already like Winter Haven Hospital in many respects,” Bostick added. “BayCare is a locally owned, locally controlled, not-for-profit healthcare provider that focuses relentlessly on providing patients with clinical excellence and state-of-the-art medical services. Our research assures us that by partnering, we can continue along that same path.”

“Health care is moving toward better coordinated systems of care across broader geography for all the right reasons: cost efficiency, shared learning and the ability to actually improve health for entire communities,” said BayCare President and CEO Steve Mason. We’re excited about what Winter Haven Hospital and BayCare can do together.”

Lance Anastasio, president and CEO of Winter Haven Hospital, said: “We believe that with BayCare’s support we will take our tradition of care to the next level in which we focus as much on preventative measures to keep our communities healthy as we do on caring for patients who are ill.”

About Winter Haven Hospital

Established in 1926, Winter Haven Hospital serves as the major medical center for east Polk and Highlands counties and the U.S. Highway 27 / Ridge Corridor. The 527-bed hospital is a locally owned and operated not-for-profit organization. The hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission and has more than 300 board-certified physicians on its medical staff representing every major specialty. Affiliated with the University of Florida College of Medicine/Shands Healthcare, Winter Haven Hospital also is the home of Bostick Heart Center, the Cassidy Cancer Center, the Regency Center for Women & Infants, the Center for Urology and the Robotics Institute, a nationally accredited Stroke Center and the nationally accredited Joy-Fuller Rehab Center. The hospital has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) with the prestigious designation of Magnet status, recognition granted to only 5 percent of the nation’s hospitals. With more than 2,500 employees, Winter Haven Hospital is east Polk County’s largest private employer and has been recognized by Polk Works Workforce 2020 as one of the county’s best places to work. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.winterhavenhospital.org.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient's lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. BayCare's family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Hospital- North, St. Joseph's Women's, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit www.BayCare.org.