Carilion Clinic, formerly known as Carilion Health System, is a Roanoke, Virginia-based not-for-profit health care organization. Carilion owns and operates eight hospitals in the western part of Virginia. The company also operates primary care clinics, residency and fellowship programs, laboratories, health clubs, an aeromedical program, and sub-specialty medical practices.
Carilion originated with Roanoke Memorial Hospital, founded in 1899 and located at the base of Mill Mountain in southwest Roanoke. The hospital expanded into related health care services and the acquisition of other hospitals. Most prominent was the acquisition of the competing Community Hospital of Roanoke Valley in downtown Roanoke. The deal took several years to complete because of anti-trust concerns by the United States Department of Justice that two of the three major hospitals in the Roanoke Valley would now be under the same ownership. In the early 1990s, Roanoke Memorial adopted the name Carilion for its consolidated health care business. Carilion is the area's leading employer with more than 10,000 employees.
Carilion Clinic Reorganization
In 2006, Carilion's management warned that trends in the health care sector threatened to undermine the organization's financial position. In response, Carilion announced plans for a significant business reorganization that will change its emphasis from running hospitals to hiring more doctors in a larger number of medical specialties, with a primary goal of better coordination of patient care and an emphasis on medical education and research. There are no plans to sell its eight hospitals.
The plan was developed after visits to the Mayo Clinic and other similar organizations. As part of the reorganization plan, Carilion renamed itself Carilion Clinic. Some local doctors have expressed concern that their independence could be eliminated and that the scale of the reorganization, if it is not successful, could imperil the organization and the quality of health care in the Roanoke area and have formed the Coalition for Responsible Healthcare to express their concerns. The vision for moving Carilion toward the "Clinic" model was spearheaded by CEO Ed Murphy, who left Carilion in 2011 to work with a New York and London based firm in order to help develop ways to better manage and coordinate physicians and services provided by hospitals.
As part of the Carilion Clinic's plan to promote education and research, Carilion and Virginia Tech have partnered to establish the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and a small, research-oriented medical school in Roanoke. The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine accepted its first class in 2010. In addition, Carilion currently operates the Jefferson College of Health Sciences which offers master of science degree programs in nursing, physician assistant, and occupational therapy. In addition, it has 13 associate and baccalaureate allied health care programs.
In addition to traditional hospital-based services, Carilion has established the Carilion Biomedical Institute in Roanoke in association with Virginia Tech. The Institute is a business incubator designed to introduce advanced medical devices into the marketplace. A related goal is the development of a cluster of such firms in the Roanoke area. One such company is Luna Innovations, which is partially owned by Carilion and has moved its corporate headquarters to the Institute's business park.