Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) announced today that it has formed a strategic alliance with Surgical Care Affiliates, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCAI) (SCA) to jointly manage surgical centers in communities throughout the greater Los Angeles area. This latest news continues to fuel Keck Medicine of USC’s rapid growth in Southern California, especially in the San Gabriel and San Fernando communities, with its acquisition of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital last year and in the last three months, physician practices in Glendale, Bakersfield and Orange County.

SCA is one of the country’s largest providers of specialty surgical services and a frequent partner with academic institutions. Keck Medicine of USC, a university-based medical enterprise, brings its world-renowned surgeons or partners with the highest quality community surgeons, while SCA serves as the management partner for day-to-day activities in this joint venture. The relationship provides a model for sustainable growth and quality health care by tapping into the expertise of each organization to provide patients with enhanced access to high quality care at more affordable costs.

The first outpatient surgical center to open under the new arrangement will be Keck Medicine of USC Surgical Center – Glendale, a multi-specialty center offering endoscopy, orthopaedic and urology treatments. Several additional outpatient surgical centers are slated to open in 2015 in the Los Angeles area.

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“By working closely in partnership with SCA and private physicians in the community, we can quickly extend USC’s medical excellence to our growing patient base in Los Angeles County,” said Tom Jackiewicz, CEO and senior vice president, USC Health which oversees Keck Medicine of USC. “Our goal is to make access to our university-based medical experts easy and to grow USC’s reach into the community.”

“This alliance allows us to offer more accessible and affordable care for our patients,” explained Shawn Sheffield, chief strategy and system development officer of Keck Medicine of USC. “Teaming up with SCA brings USC’s world-class surgical treatments to more communities in Southern California while capitalizing on the proven efficiencies that SCA offers through its infrastructure and support.”

“This is a great opportunity for two significant healthcare providers to come together and provide high quality surgical services in Los Angeles,” said Goran Dragolovic, SCA’s senior vice president of operations for California. “We are proud to be partnering with USC.”

In addition to the new outpatient physician practices recently acquired in Bakersfield, (urology) Glendale (orthopaedic surgery) and Orange County (oncology/hematology in Newport Beach and Irvine), Keck Medicine of USC has added multi-specialty outpatient clinics in Downtown Los Angeles and USC Eye Institute outpatient clinics in Arcadia, Beverly Hills and Pasadena.

These sites complement USC’s multi-specialty outpatient clinics already well established in Beverly Hills, La Canada Flintridge and Pasadena. Combined with the three multi-specialty outpatient facilities on the Keck Medical Center campus and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center facility, Keck Medicine of USC is poised to handle the growing needs of the communities it serves.

By Meg Aldrich