Riverview Health has entered into a long-term agreement with Westfield Washington School to serve as the exclusive healthcare provider and get the first naming rights for the upcoming football stadium.
Riverview will pay 1.2 million during a 10-year period. Supt. Mark Keen said payments will be $10,000 a month for that timeframe and naming rights begin once Riverview Health Stadium opens.
“It’s a privilege to partner with Westfield Washington Schools,” said Pat Fox, Riverview Health CEO. “It’s our way of making a commitment to the community. What a great opportunity to make that happen along with the city and very generous donors.”
Riverview Health also provides services to Noblesville Schools and Hamilton County. Fox said Riverview Health has an office on Ind. 32 in Westfield that offers family practice and orthopedics.
“We try to serve communities we live in. Westfield is as much a part of it as Noblesville,” said Larry Christman, chief operating officer at Riverview Health. “The students, parents and employees in our local community rely on us to help them manage their overall health and well-being. And we’re here to provide them with extraordinary primary and specialty care.”
As part of the deal, the three athletic trainers at Westfield High School will be able to retain their positions as employees of Riverview at their choosing. Despite the new agreements, Keen said parents may still select their preferred provider when injuries occur.
“It does not preclude parents taking their child to go to any hospital or medical care facility,” he said. “Everybody in the medical field takes the same Hippocratic Oath. They are going to be there for your child.”
St.Vincent has served as sports medicine provider for the past seven years. Prior to that, Riverview provided its services.
“Nothing about this has to do with the provider, but the services. We’d had great experiences. It’s all the other things they bring to the table,” Keen said. “Both are quality medical organizations. I know we’ve worked well with them (Riverview) in the past.”
As the exclusive healthcare provider, Riverview will oversee an onsite employee clinic, school nurses and sports medicine.
Business manager Nick Verhoff said the move will provide the district significant savings depending on use of the clinic, the pharmacy program which offers discounted prescriptions and how many existing school nurses become Riverview employees.
Verhoff said the district has been running its own health clinic for the past three years. With Riverview taking over the clinic, Verhoff said the staff will grow to three employees – an increase of one. He said a conservative estimate in savings for the clinic is at least $250,000.
“It’s going to be a considerable amount of dollars,” Verhoff said. “We spend over $4 million a year on health care coverage.”
Verhoff said he spent several months negotiating with all interested providers.
“Others could not match what Riverview provided,” he said, adding that he hopes to start a parent lecture series with experts from Riverview. “Our relationship with Riverview will grow over time.”
Verhoff said the new 5,500-seat Riverview Health Stadium plans to break ground in July. He said bids for the project are currently out and expected back by the end of this month. Bids will be awarded in early July if reasonably priced and construction will begin. The district expects to close on its land sale of the current stadium and adjacent land in the 40 days. Verhoff said naming rights are still available for the football and soccer fields.