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Finding an Affiliation Partner for Cortland Regional Medical Center


Cortland Regional Medical Center (“CRMC”) is a 162-bed hospital with an 80-bed residential care facility and an employed physician group. CRMC was one of the few remaining independent hospitals in New York State.


To assist CRMC in determining if the medical center could remain both independent and financially viable, and if not, to help identify and evaluate potential affiliates.


Prior to engaging Veralon, CRMC’s board of trustees created a Collaboration Task Force (“CTF”), composed of select executive and financial leadership representatives, physicians, and community leaders, to provide oversite and direction for exploring and planning for the potential affiliation.

Veralon worked closely with a steering committee that was a subgroup of the CTF, meeting with the steering committee every two to three weeks to discuss process, guiding principles, challenges, and opportunities. We also presented to the CTF regularly. Feedback was collected after the CTF meetings, synthesized, and reported back to the CTF by stakeholder category to draw out the opinions of key stakeholder groups.

Veralon evaluated CRMC’s strategic market position to determine its continued viability as an independent hospital, and presented our findings to the steering committee, which determined that the best course of action would be an affiliation with another hospital or health system.

Veralon educated both the CTF and the board of trustees regarding different types of affiliation. We then worked with the CTF to identify potential partners and assisted in the preparation of a request for proposal (“RFP”). The RFP was issued to potential affiliates, whose responses were used to determine their level of interest and the commitment each was willing to make to CRMC.

We guided the steering committee’s development of evaluation criteria to be used to narrow the field of potential affiliation candidates, and then counseled the steering committee, the CTF, and the board of trustees, separately, on the strengths and weaknesses of each RFP response.


The Guthrie organization was determined to be the best possible affiliate for CRMC. Originally established on the Mayo Clinic model (and now part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network), it is a truly integrated health system with a large physician group and a research institute, as well as four hospitals. Guthrie is thoroughly familiar with the needs of rural populations such as those served by CRMC.

Guthrie has demonstrated its willingness to invest in hospitals that it has acquired, and CRMC and Guthrie have an excellent cultural fit. Guthrie has made a substantial tentative financial commitment to meet CRMC’s identified needs.

CRMC and Guthrie have completed due diligence, and the New York State Department of Health has approved the affiliation.