Lee County agrees to pay $1.6 million for hospital building

LEE COUNTY, VA (WJHL) – The Lee County Hospital Authority has agreed upon a price to purchase the former Lee Regional Medical Center building from Wellmont Health System for $1.6 million – a milestone achievement on the road to reopening the shuddered Southwest Virginia hospital

closed the hospital in October 2013, citing federal reimbursement cuts and low community use among the reasons. Ever since, the community has worked tirelessly to reopen its doors.

Tuesday night, LCHA commissioners approved an amendment to the purchase agreement that bypassed getting an outside third appraisal on the building.

News Channel 11 spoke with LCHA’s attorney Jeff Mitchell Wednesday, who said, “A situation that in October 2013 was a blip, but an important blip on the radar screen in Richmond and Washington, is now a very bright light on the radar screen because of the work the Lee County Hospital Authority and community have done.”

LCHA is now working with Lee County’s three banks and Board of Supervisors to coordinate financing of the purchase. Mitchell says they will close as quickly as possible in April.

In a statement, Wellmont Health System told News Channel 11:

“Wellmont Health System continues to have productive dialogue with the Lee County Hospital Authority as we proceed toward a conclusion of this matter. We are pleased we have reached an agreement and are working together with the hospital authority to complete all necessary details associated with this transaction. Our discussions are moving forward, and we remain optimistic we will soon reach a resolution (the closing) with the hospital authority.”

When asked if Wellmont agrees with LCHA’s hopeful timeline to close on the property in April, Wellmont said: “We’re supportive of the timing that works best for the hospital authority.”

Tuesday, LCHA also approved the creation of a community committee to be involved in process of qualifying for “Critical Access Hospital” status.

Anyone interested can contact Mitchell at Jeff@Mitchell-firm.com

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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