GREENEVILLE, TN (WJHL) – The Board of Directors for Laughlin Memorial Hospital and Mountain States Health Alliance revealed on Tuesday morning the marriage of the two not-for-profit healthcare organizations will be complete on Friday, June 30.
“This historic step will help preserve and strengthen Laughlin Memorial Hospital,” said Chuck Whitfield, CEO of Laughlin. “We are excited to expand upon our decades-long relationship with Mountain States by becoming an integrated part of the system. This will allow us to not only protect access for our community but also to expand services in areas where they are needed.”
As part of the definitive agreement, Mountain States is committing to make a minimum of $28 million worth of capital investments in the Greeneville hospital over a five-year period. The investments include updating equipment and facilities, and enhancing services.
Back in November, the boards at both healthcare systems announced they had signed a “letter of intent” to merge. Since then, officials said they have completed the regulatory process needed to bring the systems together.
“We are enthusiastic about welcoming Laughlin Memorial Hospital to the Mountain States family,” said Alan Levine, president and CEO of Mountain States. “We have enjoyed working with them over the years to serve the people of Greene and Washington counties, and we look forward to continuing and expanding upon those investments in years to come.”
After the merger is complete, Laughlin will become the 14th hospital with Mountain States Health Alliance.
Officials reiterated in a statement that no money will change hands:
Upon completion of the merger, Laughlin will become the 14th hospital of Mountain States Health Alliance. The transaction is not a purchase, and no money will change hands. Instead, Laughlin is merging into Mountain States, where it will enjoy all the benefits of being part of a system of hospitals. Laughlin’s leadership team will remain in place, and Laughlin will maintain a local board of trustees, which will have the responsibility of ensuring continued high-quality care at the hospital.
Mountain States says while the pending merger between it and Wellmont Health System is awaiting approval by state officials, some changes such as team member badges. benefits and signage may not happen immediately.
“We believe this strategy will be the smoothest and most cost effective for everyone,” said Whitfield. “We believe strongly in Mountain States’ vision for the future of health care in our region, and we are excited about what the future may hold for us as part of Ballad Health once the state approves the merger between Wellmont and Mountain States.”