In what will be a transformative approach to women's health care in South Florida, the University of Miami Health System and VitalMD Group Holdings LLC, and its wholly owned medical practices LLCs, one of the largest private physician group practices in Florida, have agreed to establish a strategic collaboration to advance the missions of both entities, improving access to high-quality medical care by creating a broader network of providers in the South Florida region.
VitalMD's more than 500 private affiliated physicians focus on women's health, both primary care and obstetrics and gynecology, as well as primary care and pediatrics, among other specialties. The University and VitalMD's collaboration will enable patients to have seamless access to cancer services provided by physician experts at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center – part of UHealth – and any of the health system's other specialists. Similarly, working with VitalMD's network will enable expansion of UHealth's mission to deliver premium academic health care and access to OB/GYN and other women's health services in the community.
The collaboration creates a synergistic platform for both health care providers to build on their own strengths, sharing best practices to more efficiently and effectively serve patients; maintaining the convenience of primary care across the community combined with seamless access to specialty care when needed.
"This initiative is a natural fit for the University of Miami Health System as we expand our care into more communities," said Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at the University of Miami and CEO of UHealth. "Women's health often translates to the health of the entire family. Bringing academic specialty care and research to VitalMD affiliate practices' patients will create a network of services that run the continuum of care and further enhance our mission to improve access for more patients."
Among the expected benefits is increased value through clinical program collaboration, improved efficiencies, coordination of care, creation of evidence-based care models, and expanded resident/fellow teaching opportunities.
Glenn Salkind, M.D., president of VitalMD, describes the alliance as a "bold step" for South Florida health care. "Working with the University of Miami Health System, we dramatically expand our network of physicians. We are better able to meet our community's needs by offering this seamless connection to academic medical care for specialty services."
The alliance will start with select VitalMD physicians providing care in Sylvester multi-disciplinary breast cancer clinics in Miami-Dade – at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center on the University's Coral Gables campus – and in Broward, seeing patients at Sylvester at Deerfield Beach and Sylvester at Plantation.