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Washington hospital unwinds from Virginia Mason

Virginia Mason Memorial, a 256-bed hospital in Yakima, Wash., is transitioning back to an independent hospital and reverting to its old name, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic

The board of Virginia Mason Memorial voted in late October to end its affiliation with Seattle-based Virginia Mason Health System. The hospital is splitting from Virginia Mason as the health system is pursuing a merger with Tacoma, Wash.-based CHI Franciscan. 

The affiliation will end Jan. 1. The most obvious indication of the split will be new signs that reflect Virginia Mason Memorial's old name, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. 

"From a patient care perspective, there really is no change," Virginia Mason Memorial CEO Carole Peet, MSN, RN, told the Yakima Herald-Republic. "We are affiliated with Virginia Mason until Jan. 1, then we will change our name officially to Yakima Valley Memorial, and we are working now with a sign company." 

The hospital board voted to unwind from Virginia Mason after a group of retired physicians affiliated with Virginia Mason Memorial argued a merger would result in fewer specialty services, fewer specialized physicians and lower-quality patient care.

Virginia Mason Health System officials disagreed, arguing the merger could improve healthcare locally.

More articles on healthcare industry transactions:
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