Library Services in Hospital Mergers and Acquisitions: a roadmap

November 10, 2016 at 9:13 am | Posted in Awards and Recognition, Professional Development | 2 Comments

anneconner2016    Anne Conner, Director of the Gale Medical Library at Littleton Regional Healthcare is a recipient of NAHSL’s Professional Development award.  Anne shares her experiences at our 2016 annual meeting, Imagine! Innovate! Inspire! Thank you, Anne!


NAHSL 2016 was an awesome meeting all around. Imagine!  Innovate!  Inspire!  IMHO, it measured up to all three.  In addition to the incredibly inspiring Keynotes, Lightning Rounds, Spotlights, Posters, Vendors, CEs, and the imagination of the CPC’s planning of the social events, the “Side Show” titled Library Services in Hospital Mergers and Acquisitions: a Panel Discussion truly enlightened me.

Littleton Regional Healthcare, my employer, recently affiliated with three Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) in the northern tier of New Hampshire and formed a new parent organization known as North Country Healthcare. The ultimate goal of this affiliation is to keep all four hospitals strong enough to weather the stormy and rapidly changing healthcare environment, and to preserve access to high-quality care for people living in the North Country. I’ve been asking myself for quite some time about how library services will fit into this bigger picture, and more importantly… how to develop a program in collaboration with three hospitals with virtually no library staffing and no idea of how to use library tools to provide quality care. The first panelist, Dina McKelvy, Manager of Library & Knowledge Services at Maine Medical Center, spoke about the growth of Maine Health System, from the 1990’s. Presently this System, which reaches across broad and rural areas, cares for about half of Maine’s population.  Although the hospitals are independent, they share IT, Human Resources, and Population Health Programs.  Library Services staffing across the system is a bare minimum.  To maximize the power of technology, Dina implemented a LibGuide as a central point of access to the library resources, in addition to creating an info card to highlight new library services. She topped her presentation off with a bit of advice to believe in ourselves and the skills we have.

Kathy Stemmer-Frumento, Library Director at Greenwich Hospital, followed with an equally informative presentation about the steps involved in coordination of library services when Greenwich Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, and Yale-New Haven Hospital affiliated. She cited the system-wide implementation of EPIC as the impetus for these three hospitals’ more formal relationship.  Kathy methodically outlined the steps to consider in planning this project, starting with creating an identity, moving on to a readiness assessment, developing mission, vision, and goal statements, and performing SWOT and gap analyses.  From this point, the planning group was able to develop a timeline for going live.  Kathy stressed that identifying and communicating with the right people is helping the project move forward; more changes lie ahead with the recent affiliation of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.

Lastly (but not least), Margo Colletti, Director of Knowledge Services at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), highlighted the journey of this large academic medical center’s affiliation with three community hospitals in the Greater Boston Area. Margo stressed the value of clearly defining up front what BIDMC Knowledge Services could and could not do for the community hospital partners.  Even though the BIDMC affiliation vastly differs in size compared to Littleton Regional’s, Margo described the concept of a unified license in which each affiliate pays its portion. This is a model which I can replicate on a much smaller scale.

Finally, Jeannine Gluck, the session moderator, provided a great list of publications on library services in mergers and acquisitions, which will be extremely helpful on my journey and adds to the roadmap I now have to find my way on a new project. Thank you, NAHSL, for giving me a generous scholarship to attend this meeting!

Anne Conner, MLS, AHIP, Director, Gale Medical Library, Littleton Regional Healthcare



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  1. Hi- Does Jeannine have the bibliography or list she had given out at the end of this panel discussion? The various state health science library organization, including ARIHSL, might want to take a look at it. Sounds like I missed a good discussion. Thanks for recapping, Anne. Sue

    • Hello Sue,

      I checked with Jeannine and she’s fine with sharing the document. I will send you a PDF via email.


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