The Diagnostic Clinic of Longview (DCOL) and Longview Regional Medical Center (LRMC) have revealed their impending collaboration and how it will advance healthcare services yet further for East Texans already accustomed to expert care from both institutions.
This partnership will spawn perhaps the most advanced, integrated, progressive and effective medical unit in the region.  LRMC’s parent company, Community Health Systems, Inc., will effect a merger with DCOL, to be completed over the next few months.  All physician ownership interests in LRMC will be repurchased.  DCOL President Dr. Robert Wheeler, M.D. has great expectations for the new alliance.
“DCOL and Longview Regional have worked side-by-side for more than 30 years to bring revolutionary medical advancements to our patients, recruit physicians to our region, and broaden the health services we provide,” he said.  “We have deep respect for one another and common goals for medical excellence and patient service.  Affiliation between our organizations solidifies an already strong relationship and brings the promise of immeasurable benefit for our patients and the region.”
The healthcare industry’s evolving dynamics have already established collaboration as a positive trend, producing improved medical treatment and advancement in the overall patient experience.  With learning being an ongoing process despite a field’s state-the-art status doctors and hospital administrative staff are careful to keep seeking means for advancing these goals in all health systems.
“DCOL physicians value the opportunity to create a system of coordinated patient care across the full spectrum of health services,” said DCOL CEO Bert Ratay.  “Whether it’s an office visit, a diagnostic test, an emergency room visit, surgery or hospitalization, DCOL physicians will have a greater involvement in the healthcare landscape than ever before.”
With over 700 employees DCOL is one of East Texas’ biggest multi-specialty establishments.  There are 132 doctors and mid-level healthcare providers in the 18 locations, all of which will continue to operate under the name of Diagnostic Clinic of Longview following the merger, and with the same skilled staff.  The changing ownership structure will have little impact on the facilities’ day-to-day service and procedures.
Following the merger a joint oversight committee comprised of representatives from both DCOL and LRMC will direct DCOL.  Furthermore, DCOL physicians will commence serving on the LRMC Board of Trustees.  LRMC CEO Jim Kendrick is enthusiastic about the coming union.
“The forward-thinking physicians at DCOL have always been pioneers in their field,” he said.  “We have great respect for their commitment to their patients, the community and to clinical excellence.  We welcome their increased involvement in our hospital.”
Dr. John Greifencamp, M.D. is one of DCOL’s original founders, and echoes Kendrick’s enthusiasm about the merger’s positive implications.
“I am proud of how DCOL has evolved over the years, and the opportunity we have now through this affiliation with Longview Regional,” he said.  “We’re excited about partnering with a physician-oriented hospital that shares our vision for the future and commitment to the patient.  We look forward to what we can accomplish in our work together.”
DCOL concentrates on such primary care services as pediatric/adolescent medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, family practice and internal medicine, although a broad spectrum of medical spets have recently joined the staff. Most practitioners are board-certified.
A 131-bed acute care facility, LRMC aims to provide East Texans with medical care that is constantly updated through advancements in treatment and technology.  It is Longview’s only hospital providing daVinci robotic surgery, Stryker joint replacements, BrainLab spine and trauma solutions, 100% off-pump beating heart surgery with minimally invasive technique, the HALO procedure for reversing damage to Barrett’s esophagus, and bariatric weight-loss surgery.
This hospital has the city’s only vein treatment center in which interventional cardiologists perform all procedures, in the process earning the recognition of “Best Vein Care Center of Excellence.”  LRMC employees are delighted by their hospital being named one of the “Best Companies to Work for in Texas.”  This is unsurprising since the owning partnership includes a number of physician-owners, some of whom are on the hospital’s staff.  For more information on LRMC please visit