Summit Health: Why a Health System Without a Hospital Makes Sense
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
The story of health care over the past two years is the story of provider organizations adapting to extreme circumstances and constant change, which continues to this day; as of this writing in late December 2021, the U.S. reported 488,000 new COVID-19 infections, breaking its single-day record.
But back in August 2019, no one knew the pandemic was just over the horizon. That’s when industry leader and visionary Matt Gove, former chief consumer officer at Piedmont Healthcare in Georgia, made a bet on a new model of ambulatory care delivery coming together in the New York metropolitan area.
CityMD, New York’s largest urgent care provider, and New Jersey-based physician-led multispecialty practice Summit Medical Group, announced their merger on August 13. At the same time, Gove came on board as chief marketing officer of the new entity. His first day was in September 2019. A few months later, in early 2020, New York became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CityMD’s storefront clinics have been a lifeline of care throughout the pandemic. The walk-in clinics are well known and ubiquitous in New York’s five boroughs. “CityMD is to urgent care in the New York area like Kleenex is to tissue,” says Gove.
CityMD’s strong retail presence is only one part of the story of why these two companies, now known as Summit Health, came together. The aim of the merger is to leverage respective strengths of each organization to offer greater access, convenience, and coordinated care. “What we really have is a very strong urgent care business, and a very strong multispecialty business,” Gove says.
“And in the end, the work we’re doing right now is creating the connections that will allow us to offer an individual patient dozens of different doors that they can walk into to be a part of a single experience.”