Memorial Hospital to split from Virginia Mason over merger concerns


YAKIMA, Wash. — The Memorial Hospital board voted Wednesday to split from Virginia Mason over concerns about their upcoming merger with religious health system CHI Franciscan.

In a news release Friday, the board said they, “wanted to ensure that health care in the Yakima Valley remained local and dedicated to caring for our Central Washington community.”

“The board carefully considered the many questions and comments from our community and the potential impact on residents, patients, employees, The Memorial Foundation and our many community health-care providers and partners,” officials said in the release.

Memorial Hospital has been affiliated with Virginia Mason since 2016, but began considering leaving their partnership after Virginia Mason announced the potential merger in July, according to the release.

The merger has been criticized by the ACLU and other advocacy organizations as “deeply concerning,” as Virginia Mason hospitals would have to stop providing certain reproductive health services and end of life care.

“Providing access to high quality and specialty care to more patients in Yakima and beyond is the foundation of Virginia Mason Memorial,” officials said in the news release. “It is the board’s responsibility to ensure this continues.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.