Picture of Keith Vander Kolk

Providence Health System is making changes to better align the services it provides with the evolving needs of the District of Columbia. Providence’s transformation is designed to deliver a community asset that will encompass more than traditional healthcare services.

By the end of 2018, Providence will transition out of providing acute care services and will focus on leading the collaborative work to create a model that will keep health at the center, remove the obstacles and barriers to a healthy life for all, and better meet the needs of a changing and growing community.

The new Providence will look to transform the way care is delivered in the District with a new community-focused perspective that provides other types of needed services, such as care coordination, telehealth/virtual care, primary and urgent care, home care, community-based behavioral healthcare, senior care and more. In addition, Providence will look at non-healthcare-related services that impact an individual’s well-being. This new approach will allow Providence to take a leadership role in transforming healthcare delivery.

“We know that 15 percent of a person’s life is spent in actual healthcare, which means the remaining 85 percent is spent in other areas that either positively or negatively impact their overall well-being,” said Keith Vander Kolk, Health System President and CEO. “That is where the greatest opportunity to make meaningful change lies, and we must put our focus and energy on advancing a model of transformation that will serve the District in new and lasting ways.”

“DC Health’s vision is for the District to be the healthiest city in America,” said Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director of the DC Department of Health. “Providence’s new approach is a positive step towards creating a comprehensive, accessible, equitable healthcare system capable of providing the highest quality services in a cost-effective manner to those who live and work in DC.”

Consistent with our Values, Providence will work with civic leaders, representatives of the District of Columbia Hospital Association, DC Health, other healthcare leaders, physician leaders, board members, and Providence physicians and associates on appropriate transition plans to ensure we meet the needs of those we serve all while supporting associates, physicians and volunteers throughout the process.

“As the healthcare environment continues to evolve both nationwide and here in the District, it’s important for all providers to assess how to best respond to the needs of the community,” said Jacqueline D. Bowens, President and Chief Executive Officer, District of Columbia Hospital Association (DCHA). “Reflective of the industry’s shift toward a population health focus, health systems continue to identify ways to strengthen collaborations between acute care and community-based services, to meet people where they are and ultimately improve health outcomes.”

“In engaging with community leaders on the Community Health Needs Assessment and the DC Health Systems Plan to understand how to best serve the community, we agreed with the experts’ findings to shift from acute care to a focus on ambulatory and outpatient-based services,” said Eugenia Powell, PhD, RN, Providence Administrator & Vice President of Patient Care Services. “In planning for this transition, we assessed the current and future availability of health services in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia. The area is blessed with many high-quality providers of acute healthcare services, and we are confident our communty will continue to be served at the highest level.”

Providence and Ascension will remain in Washington, D.C., and continue to provide care for the community through this transformation. Task forces representing associates and physicians throughout Providence will have a voice in defining targeted transition plans for the future state of Providence. While acute care services will close, these task forces will also review plans for all other services, such as Carroll Manor, Providence’s skilled nursing facility, which will continue to operate uninterrupted as part of Ascension Living, the senior living and care division of Ascension.

“While the acute-care mission of Providence has been so important and appreciated for over a century, Providence has also been known for adapting to the changing health needs of the community,” said Sister Carol Keehan, DC, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. “Changing its focus to providing preventive health and wellness in collaboration with the community marks a new phase in its commitment. Establishing Providence’s model that emphasizes health at its core is an effort toward truly improving the health and well-being of all persons in our community.”

“Over the years, Providence has adapted to the changing needs of the community,” said Vander Kolk. “Our future transformation is a continuation of that legacy and our commitment to serve the community where and how we are most needed.”