Business

Big Island Healthcare Services to Merge

October 4, 2021, 12:35 PM HST
* Updated October 4, 7:10 PM
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Bay Clinic, Inc. and West Hawaii Community Health Center are joining together.

The two entities on Monday, Oct. 4 announced they had entered into a Memorandum of Agreement to consolidate and merge operations.

The yet to be named, surviving entity will service 40,000 patients and provide medical, dental, pharmacy, behavior health services, and enabling services at locations in Hilo, Ke´aau, Pāhoa, Ka´ū, Oceanview, Miloli´i,  Kealakekua, Kealakehe, Waikoloa and Kailua-Kona.

“In thinking about how to unify our island communities and enhance our mission, I approached West Hawaii Community Health Center with the idea of merging our operations to increase patient access to qualified healthcare providers and improve the quality of patient care island-wide,” said Bay Clinic CEO Kimo Alameda. “West Hawaii Community Health Center CEO Richard Taaffe had the same mission in mind and we began to talk story on how to make it work.”

“As we conducted our due diligence, it became obvious that merging the two operations would have a positive effect on patient health care island-wide. Kimo and I immediately saw a more comprehensive scope of care, increased access to providers, greater economies of scale and the opportunity to add new clinic locations as immediate benefits to a merger. It just made sense,” said Richard Taaffe.

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The West Hawaii Community Health Center Board of Directors, led by Mike Matsukawa, and the Bay Clinic Board of Directors, led by Haidee Abe, met separately in late September and approved the merger of the two entities. The decisions came following a due diligence investigation by management teams and consultants.

Timeline

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The effective date of the merger is the close of Bay Clinic’s fiscal year on July 1, 2022.

An integration of services and personnel including finance, IT and HR have begun so that both operations are fully aligned by July 1. Both entities will keep their names and identities, with Kimo Alameda and Richard Taaffe continuing as CEOs of their respective organizations, until the merger is finalized.

Effective July 1, Bay Clinic, Inc. will cease operations as a nonprofit and be dissolved, with West Hawaii Community Health Center remaining as the surviving entity.

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A new Board of Directors led by Mike Matsukawa and Haidee Abe will be formed with equal representation from both Bay Clinic and West Hawaii Community Health Center with the newly constituted board taking effect on July 1.

Prior to July 1, the parties will formulate board related materials, committee assignments, organizational charts and matters pertinent to governance. The new Board of Directors will decide on a name for the new entity that unifies the brand.

“We are excited to begin this new journey and to work together. Both organizations are about the same size in sites and employees. We have begun the process to build trust internally with staff and employees and most importantly with the community,” said West Hawaii Community Health Center Board Chair Mike Matsukawa.

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