Centra and UVA Health Announce Strategic Clinical Affiliation

Aerial view of the UVA Health Center Buildings at night

Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications

Building on each other’s strengths in delivering highly specialized patient care, Lynchburg-based Centra and UVA Health on Wednesday announced a strategic clinical affiliation to increase access to advanced health care and innovative treatments close to home, furthering their long-standing commitments to the local community.

Through this new affiliation, the two independent health systems will further their collaboration in these new areas:  

  • Malignant hematology (disorders of blood cells): UVA Health malignant hematology experts will hold regular clinics at Centra’s Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center in Lynchburg to consult with patients and local medical oncologists. This strategic collaboration will offer UVA Health’s comprehensive expertise and services in hematologic malignancies (lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma and related cancers of the blood) and access to cutting-edge clinical trials of the most promising new therapeutics, accelerating the time to transplant for eligible candidates while reducing patients’ travel requirements by offering initial consultations and post-treatment care closer to their homes.
  • Kidney transplant: UVA Health transplant specialists will hold clinics in Lynchburg to evaluate patients for kidney transplants. Through these clinics, a nurse navigator will be assigned to coordinate locally provided health care services with Centra providers before transplant and to coordinate the transfer of care back to Lynchburg nephrologists after transplant. These clinics will improve organ waitlist times and provide expert care where and when patients need it.
  • Recruitment of specialist physicians: UVA Health and Centra will also collaborate on the recruitment of specialist physicians in certain clinical specialties to enhance access to care for these services within the Centra service area. Physician teams from both health systems, including these specialists, will provide joint patient care conferences, share expertise, and offer some services through telemedicine. 

Through previously existing partnerships, Centra and UVA Health already have demonstrated success in providing comprehensive and exceptional patient care throughout Central Virginia. Currently, they collaborate on high-risk pregnancies, gynecology-oncology, tele-stroke care and dialysis. This new clinical affiliation will allow them to work together even more closely and efficiently in these areas, while each remains financially and structurally independent. 

“I am excited to forge this strategic alliance with Centra, allowing UVA Health to continue to scale our ability to care for more patients closer to where they live,” said Dr. Craig Kent, CEO of UVA Health. “This alliance will enable our clinical experts to partner with local physicians, providing patients with the most innovative treatments available.”

“UVA Health is a leading academic medical center, and whilst it is relatively near Lynchburg, we know that patients want access to the most advanced care as close to home as possible,” said Richard Tugman, Centra’s interim CEO. “Through the power of this clinical affiliation, our two health systems will achieve the best care possible in the right location. Moreover, our patients and providers will benefit from this shared experience and expertise.”

A committee, composed of leaders from both health systems, has been formed to oversee this expanded affiliation. Centra and UVA Health look forward to undertaking the above projects and exploring other opportunities for further collaboration among their physicians and other caregivers in support of patients in the Central Virginia community.

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