Mayo could expand more into Georgia

The CEO of the Mayo Clinic said Thursday that the Minnesota-based organization, fresh off a merger with a Waycross health system, is looking at establishing other hospital relationships in the region around its Jacksonville, Fla., hub.

Dr. John Noseworthy, president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic, told Georgia Health News in an interview that those alliances could be looser than the merger struck with Satilla Health Services, which is now called Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross. That deal was announced earlier this month.

Waycross, in the southeast corner of Georgia, is about 75 miles from Jacksonville.

“We’re looking at the market around Jacksonville,’’ Noseworthy said. “The whole region.’’

Some hospitals interested in affiliations are looking to be taken over as owned facilities, while others want to remain more independent, he said.

Beyond its famed medical complex in Rochester, Minn., and campuses in Arizona and Jacksonville, Mayo has a network of clinics and hospitals serving more than 70 communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Mayo’s entry into Georgia with the Satilla deal delivered a jolt to Georgia’s health care community. The Mayo name itself carries a lofty reputation for medical expertise and quality of care.

Mayo is seeking to deliver coordinated patient care in these communities, Noseworthy said. In the current health system, he said, “most patients don’t have access to coordinated, patient-centered care.’’

Patients in Waycross will get greater access to ‘‘all of the resources of the Mayo Clinic,’’ Noseworthy said. And if they need subspecialty care, they can choose to go to Mayo’s hub in Jacksonville, he said.

This type of integrated care has been a focus of Mayo in the past, and will continue to be in the future, he said.