Mayo Clinic, St. Clair Hospital Hail Partnership

Mayo Clinic and St. Clair Hospital officials say they’re happy with the partnership from both ends of its clinical relationship.

The Mt. Lebanon hospital struck a collaboration with the Mayo Clinic in 2016, allowing among other things St. Clair Hospital the ability to be connected with Mayo Clinic specialists for diagnosis, treatment or clinical management of complex diseases. It’s one of only about 40 such relationships Mayo has with other hospitals. Both sides said it’s working well.

Dr. Henry H. Ting, a professor of medicine and chief value officer of the Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic, and Dr. David L. Hayes, medical director, provider relations-international, recently visited St. Clair Hospital and spoke with the hospital’s staff and presented a talk on value-based care.

Ting and Hayes spoke to St. Clair staff about the importance of institutional excellence and a strong culture at the Mayo Clinic. Hayes, who visits potential as well as existing partners, said a laser-focus on culture and quality are among the key attributes of successful partners.

“I think truly St. Clair embodies the same sort of culture at the base that we do,” Hayes said. “That’s why we work well together. We have seen groups where perhaps over a three-year period they’ve had three different CEOs. Then you have to wonder if the culture there to begin with, is there a way to get the culture right.”

Hayes noted that St. Clair has had stable, engaged leadership. Dr. John T. Sullivan, who joined St. Clair Hospital in 2018, said he was impressed when he was in the interview process at how the top leadership works.

“I saw in the leadership something I had never seen in other institutions I’d worked in, and that was a really thoughtful, consistent approach to engaging and managing culture, and that being foremost in the realm of strategy and tactical implications of medicine,” Sullivan said. “It profoundly resonated with me.”

The relationship is renewed on an annual basis, as are all of the Mayo Clinic’s partnerships with its care network.

Ting believes the health care system is on the cusp of a major transformation, one that will deliver the best outcomes, safety and experience, improve the health of patients and decrease the costs. He believes the culture and values of an institution will be even more important in the future.

“I feel very strongly that the transformation and innovation has to come from within the profession and our professionals,” Ting said. “How we think about health and health care, and move and transform into a truly digital era of medicine, where what we know is known by everyone, and to inform decisions at the point of care in real time.”

Leveraging digital technology and linking Mayo to its system of hospital partners allows physicians at the local level to have the benefit of knowledge and the advantage of best practices at Mayo. Sullivan said the hospitals’ cultures are similar.

Hayes agreed.

“We found those same sort of values with St. Clair,” Hayes said. “It’s one reason the relationship works so well.”


By Paul J. Gough – Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times