Pluta Pins Hopes on Merger with URMC
As today’s tumultuous health care environment makes it tricky for smaller, freestanding cancer centers – even respected, high-quality centers like the Pluta Cancer Center – to survive, many have begun searching for partners who can help share overhead expenses to ensure break-even financial results. Last month, the Pluta Cancer Center and URMC announced that they are studying the benefits of a merger; Pluta’s leaders says that, in seeking a larger partner, URMC was their first choice.
“Our board of directors and management were especially impressed with URMC’s commitment to preserving the Pluta Cancer Center mission and approach to cancer care,” said Kelly McCormick-Sullivan, president and CEO of Pluta. “We believe this partnership will be highly beneficial to people diagnosed with cancer in our community because it brings together so many elements crucial to high quality care: a great research, teaching and care facility with the unique perspective brought by an independent center like Pluta.
Bringing together the scope of services provided at our Wilmot Cancer Center and the Pluta Cancer Center holds key benefits for URMC, including access to a larger pool of candidates for clinical trials, providing more meaningful research. Pluta, which is located at 125 Red Creek Drive in Henrietta, also provides URMC an off-site location that offers additional conveniences for some patients who may be seeking a smaller, more intimate setting for care. The ability to provide service at a second location also offers the Wilmot Cancer Center added flexibility, with the possibility of relocating some services to Pluta to provide room for future growth in programs at Wilmot.
“Pluta has a rich, well-deserved reputation within our community for providing high quality, patient-centered care, much in line with our own initiatives,” said URMC CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. “By coupling that with access to Wilmot’s basic and clinical research, and advanced technology, we can use the strengths of both organizations to raise the bar even higher on patient care in our region.”
The process leading to an actual merger of URMC and Pluta could take several months. Both organizations are involved in the process of performing due diligence and must receive approval from various New York State entities, including the Attorney General, State Supreme Court and the Department of Health. Once the merger is formally approved, the Pluta employees will become employees of URMC, and their physicians will become members of our faculty.
Founded in 1975 through a generous gift of the Pluta family, the Pluta Cancer Center has a staff of 42, including two radiation oncologists and three medical oncologists. The Center sees approximately 500 new patients each year, yielding about 19,000 patient visits.
“This is wonderful news for the Wilmot Cancer Center and the greater Rochester community,” said Jonathan Friedberg, M.D., Wilmot’s acting director. “A merger of these two great institutions, should it come to fruition, will allow us to take care of more cancer patients in an even better, more efficient manner.”