Massachusetts Eye and Ear announces plans to join Partners HealthCare

Media Contact:

Jennifer Street
Office of Communications, Mass. Eye and Ear
617-573-3424

(BOSTON, March 31, 2017) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Partners HealthCare have signed a letter of intent for Mass. Eye and Ear to formally become a member of Partners HealthCare. The agreement is the first step in a comprehensive process to make Partners HealthCare the parent organization of Mass. Eye and Ear (MEE.)

"Mass. Eye and Ear made a promise to patients around the world that we would find cures for blindness and deafness," said Wycliffe "Wyc" Grousbeck, Chairman of the MEE Board of Directors. "Joining Partners would give our physicians and scientists the best path to keep delivering on that promise as quickly as possible."

Under the proposed terms, MEE will keep its name and hospital license, and will remain a not-for-profit charitable health care organization, with its own board of directors, executive leadership team, medical and research staff, and community outreach and fundraising activities.

Founded in Boston in 1824, MEE is the oldest eye and ear, nose and throat hospital in the country. In addition to providing patient care, MEE is home to the world's largest vision and hearing research centers, as well as the Harvard Medical School training programs in ophthalmology (eye) and otolaryngology (ENT.)

"As we look to advance patient care, research and teaching in a rapidly changing health care environment, we believe the best strategic solution for Mass. Eye and Ear is to join an integrated health care system," said John Fernandez, President & CEO. "Given our long history of clinical and research collaboration with Partners hospitals, this feels like a clear choice."

Throughout nearly two centuries, MEE clinicians and scientists have enjoyed a close collaboration with colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH.) MEE physicians provide leadership and staffing for MGH's Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, and the two hospitals are physically connected on their main campus. Mass. Eye and Ear physicians also lead and staff the Division of Ophthalmology at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH.) In order to provide the best continuity of care for all of these patients, Mass. Eye and Ear has invested in and is now using the Partners Healthcare electronic medical record and patient portal.

"By formally bringing Mass. Eye and Ear into the Partners family we can greatly strengthen the clinical and scientific relationships between our organizations," said Dr. David Torchiana, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare. "Together we can make Mass. Eye and Ear services and research accessible to a broader population of patients, further improving the quality of life for thousands of individuals and families."

This transaction with Partners HealthCare will allow Mass. Eye and Ear to expand further into the community setting, so patients can receive state-of-the-art specialty care close to home. It will also allow both organizations to provide a continuum of integrated and seamless eye and ENT care options, furthering a patient-centered medical home model between the providers.

The agreement must now undergo due diligence, the negotiation of definitive transaction documents, and a state and federal regulatory review.

About Massachusetts Eye and Ear 
Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. Now united with Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear is the world's largest vision and hearing research center, developing new treatments and cures through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships. Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. In the 2016–2017 “Best Hospitals Survey,” U.S. News & World Report ranked Mass. Eye and Ear #1 in the nation for ear, nose and throat care and #1 in New England for eye care. For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit MassEyeAndEar.org.