the b.s.:

In health care, a history and reputation for quality go a long way

Bruce Spotleson

Bruce Spotleson

VEGAS INC Coverage

When it comes to health care, few things matter more than trust.

It’s not all that complicated. When you feel confident in the integrity, strength and ability of something, you basically are saying you trust it. And when you’re dealing with life’s most important subjects — health care being the first that comes to mind — you are definitely looking for integrity, strength and ability.

Fortunately for humanity, a number of health care organizations have built reputations that fit the definition. One such group is Stanford Hospitals & Clinics, which has just embarked on a partnership with St. Rose Dominican Hospitals. In collaborating on the new St. Rose Neurosurgery Clinic, just down the road from the hospital group’s Siena campus, the two entities have taken a big step in strengthening the adult and pediatric neurological services in Southern Nevada.

Neurology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, functions and organic disorders of nerves and the nervous system. If that sounds like important work, you’re getting the picture on how significant the SRDH-Stanford marriage is. Especially given that it marks the first time that Stanford Hospitals & Clinics has gone outside of California to form a clinical partnership.

“The opening of this clinic is another indicator that Las Vegas is a growing health care destination,” said Rod Davis, president and CEO of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals and senior vice president of operations of Dignity Health Nevada. “It’s symbolic of where we’re going — bringing health care that’s recognized as the epitome.”

If that’s St. Rose’s ultimate destination, it appears headed in the right direction. Stanford Hospitals & Clinics brings a stellar reputation, and it obviously doesn’t lend its name lightly, something its execs are willing to acknowledge.

“We’re very proud of the accomplishments of our brand and we’re very protective of that,” said Margaret M. Vosburgh, who became the organization’s chief operating officer in January, taking the reins of a $3.5 billion expansion of the Packard Children’s Hospital that was started last summer. Packard is an academic medical center on the university campus in Palo Alto, and many of its doctors also are professors at Stanford’s medical school.

Before coming to Las Vegas, her organization did its due diligence, spending some time evaluating St. Rose as a potential partner. She came away impressed with its commitment to health care, as well the character of Davis, its longtime leader.

“Stable. Integrity. Warmth. He’s the real deal,” Vosburgh said.

Stanford Hospitals & Clinics sits in northern California, an area known for competitive health care, and it’s surrounded by institutions owned by Sutter Health, Kaiser and the University of San Francisco — which also has a strong school of medicine.

“The things that distinguish us are research, clinical outcomes and the cutting-edge things we are able to do,” Vosburgh said.

It’s a proud organization, as you can easily see when Vosburgh whips out the card carrying its mission and vision statements, which I suspect are always with her — although she doesn’t seem like the sort of person who would ever forget the words on it.

The vision statement: “Healing humanity through science and compassion, one patient at a time.”

The arrival of Stanford Hospitals & Clinics moves St. Rose into the forefront of neurological care locally. And it represents one more example of the credibility that is often to be gained by associating with a major partner. If you were on your own, any similar prestige would take decades to build.

As Davis is quick to point out, it’s similar to the strategy local philanthropist Larry Ruvo employed when he partnered with the Cleveland Clinic on what is now the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. It might easily have been given any local name, but the one that moved the organization forward the quickest, and established it as a serious local center of medicine, was joint branding with the Cleveland Clinic, one of the nation’s premier medical institutions.

And so Las Vegas takes another step forward in health care. The community gets a neurology clinic with a name that will capture the attention of locals and medical tourists in search of top-drawer treatment. And the name conveys integrity, strength, ability. In health care, does anything matter more?