0

HMC, Piedmont continue partnership talks

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Leaders at Henry Medical Center (HMC), and Piedmont Healthcare, have signed a Letter of Intent to pursue a linkage between the two entities.

Last month, the organizations began examining the possibility of working together. Tuesday, the CEO of Henry Medical Center said the two medical facilities are moving closer to a partnership venture. HMC and Piedmont are continuing discussions "that would serve to develop a definitive agreement delineating the relationship," according to a joint press statement issued Tuesday.

"I am excited about the potential for advancing our relationship with Piedmont and the opportunity this will offer our hospital to enhance our mission of providing excellent patient care for our community," said Charles F. Scott, HMC's president and chief executive officer.

Henry Medical Center is a 215-bed, not-for-profit community hospital in Stockbridge, with more than 400 physicians on staff, and nearly 500 nurses. Its services include cardiovascular care, orthopedics, surgery, critical care, women's health, emergency and diagnostic care.

Piedmont Healthcare, also a not-for-profit organization, is the parent company of Piedmont Hospital, a 481-bed acute tertiary facility in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead; Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 143-bed acute-care, community hospital in Fayetteville; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 42-bed, community hospital in Jasper; and Piedmont Newnan Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care, community hospital in Newnan.

R. Timothy Stack, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare, said in the joint release with HMC that recent events heighten the need for a partnership with the Stockbridge hospital.

"We are eager to continue our discussions with Henry Medical Center to explore how, together, we can best serve the needs of the local community," he said. "Especially given the recent legislative activity at the state and national levels, it is even more important for hospitals and health-care organizations to evaluate ways we can work together in an increasingly challenging environment."

Gregory A. Hurst, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Piedmont Healthcare, said his organization is "built on a philosophy of providing high-quality clinical care and compassionate caring in a cost-effective manner. We welcome the opportunity to share our experience with Henry," Hurst added.

The joint statement from Piedmont and HMC did not give additional details on the possible partnership, stating that it "would be premature," and is prohibited by the agreement.