WATSEKA, IL - As previously reported, Riverside and IMH are considering a possible merger of the two healthcare organizations. It was announced in October that each signed the non-binding Letter of Intent to explore merging IMH into Riverside Healthcare. The Letter of Intent gives both organizations the chance to work confidentially to explore the merger. No timeline for this process has been announced.
Riverside Medical Center has purchased the Iroquois Memorial Hospital (IMH) Ambulance Service and will take over its operation starting January 1, 2019. Riverside and IMH made the joint announcement on December 13, indicating the purchase is a sign of the continually changing healthcare landscape.
"We all need to explore more efficient ways of providing care," said Phil Kambic, Riverside president and CEO. "Riverside can leverage economies of scale to minimize costs, maintain equipment at an optimal level, and more easily recruit personnel."
Riverside officials have indicated that ambulance patients will be taken to the nearest facility most appropriate for the level of care required while honoring patient preference.
"We feel fortunate Riverside has chosen to purchase and take over our ambulance operation," said Tim Smith, president and CEO of IMH. "Riverside has a long history of providing outstanding ambulance service through its broad network of six ambulance stations covering Kankakee and Northern Iroquois Counties. We know our area cancontinue the same great level of care that our residents are accustomed to after the service is transitioned to Riverside."
The purchase included IMH's ambulances and equipment. Officials indicate every effort will be made to transition current IMH ambulance staff to ambulance positions under Riverside Leadership.
"We feel that the transition of the IMH Ambulance service to Riverside is a positive step in the right direction as we work towards our pending merger," Smith said.