Clinically Integrated Network Briefing

Changes For Our Pediatric Community
A Message for the Wellforce Clinically Integrated Network
January 20, 2022
Dear Colleagues:

The Wellforce Clinically Integrated Network’s vision is to build healthier communities as we accelerate the shift to value-based care. Wellforce, as a health system, is leading change in our community in support of that vision. 

Today, we are announcing a major initiative to advance our patient and care team experiences and to expand the reach of our Health System across New England. 

Effective July 1, 2022 and pending regulatory approval, Tufts Children’s Hospital will enter into a collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and will close its 41 pediatric inpatient beds, transitioning care for children requiring inpatient admissions to BCH.

In addition, we have begun discussions with BCH on how to best structure the future of our subspecialty clinics (Boston, Brockton, Chelmsford, Lawrence and Woburn), our outpatient surgical/procedural services and our pediatric hospitalist network (Signature Healthcare Brockton, Lawrence General, Lowell General, MelroseWakefiled and MetroWest hospitals).

Level III neonatal intensive care services will continue to be offered at Tufts Medical Center, as they serve as a vital component to the growth of Tufts MC’s highly regarded Maternal Fetal Medicine program and the strong network that has been built across eastern Massachusetts by our neonatology team.

As we make this announcement, we also celebrate the legacy of commitment and caring by the Tufts Children’s Hospital pediatric staff from the founding of the “The Floating” to today. That legacy is what enabled this collaboration with BCH.

Concurrently, we will begin the process to obtain regulatory approval to expand our inpatient capacity at Tufts MC. This will enable Wellforce to address unmet demand for care of critically ill adult patients, while assuring that your pediatric patients continue to get extraordinary care, now through our collaboration with BCH.

We recognize that a strategic decision of this magnitude may create disruptions in the near-term that must be messaged and managed. Several helpful communications resources have been developed for you and your patients, including:

  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for physicians and pediatric families
  • Flier for pediatric families
  • Resource line to answer physician and pediatric patient questions: 866-978-2339
  • Dedicated section of the Tufts Medical Center website to provide key updates and resources:

We also plan to host informational webinars for physicians and practice staff to keep you informed about progress to establish the collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital. Please look for future announcements of dates/times. All webinars will be recorded for “on demand” listening/viewing.

Our collaboration with BCH is a strategic decision that underscores the Wellforce commitment to accelerate change to improve the health of our communities. Over the next several months as the transition is operationalized, there will undoubtedly be questions that arise. We will be intentional about providing you with the information you need in a timely and concise manner to respond to questions from your patients and colleagues. In the interim, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.
With warm regards,
Emily Young
Wellforce Clinically Integrated Network
The Wellforce Clinically Integrated Network
The Wellforce Clinically Integrated Network is a distinctively different population health enterprise and value-based care contracting entity. It comprises 2,300 primary care and specialist physicians and advanced practice clinicians, in private and employed practices, working in community and hospital settings. The Network’s purpose is to build healthier communities and to create healthy, rewarding experiences for our participating physicians and care teams. The Network was launched in July 2021 by building upon the legacies of two long-standing, high-performing organizations – Lowell General Physician Hospital Organization and New England Quality Care Alliance (NEQCA).