Area Emergency Medical Groups Combine to Strengthen Services

January 16, 2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Guilford Emergency Physicians, a group of 24 doctors that staffs the emergency rooms at Moses Cone Health System, will combine with the Emergency Medicine Department at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

The combination of a group of emergency physicians in Greensboro and the Emergency Medicine Department of Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine will improve care at emergency rooms in the Piedmont Triad. The Emergency Medicine Department of the school of medicine staffs the emergency rooms at Wake Forest Baptist and Wilkes Regional Medical Center.

“We believe this collaboration will enhance the quality of emergency medical care in the Triad,” said James Hoekstra, M.D., chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist. “The new relationship will incorporate the best of community and academic medical practices.”

Discussions about an affiliation began after Moses Cone Health System and Wake Forest Baptist formed The HealthCare Alliance earlier last year. The new relationship between the emergency physician groups is an example of the benefits of the Alliance, which was formed by the two organizations to strengthen their working relationships, improve quality and explore ways to reduce costs. High Point Regional Health System also is a member of the Alliance.

The reorganization will expand the emergency medicine residency program at Wake Forest, resulting in more highly qualified physicians to work in emergency rooms. Moses Cone Health System Emergency Rooms will become the community affiliate training site for the program. Residents will rotate through the emergency rooms during their second and third years of training.

The combination has created a favorable climate for recruiting highly-trained emergency physicians to Moses Cone Health System emergency rooms, including the freestanding emergency room in High Point that is under construction. So far, nine physicians have been recruited from outstanding residency and fellowship programs, said Kevin Steinl, M.D., president of Guilford Emergency Physicians.

"Emergency Medicine is a specialty experiencing tremendous growth, resulting in increased demand for qualified providers. Our alliance has and will continue to enable us to recruit outstanding emergency medicine physicians to our community,” said Steinl.

“The agreement will create additional opportunities for working together,” said Hoekstra. “Our partnership will enable us to provide the highest possible emergency medical care to the people of the Piedmont Triad.”


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