Officials and dignitaries from both hospitals gathered at MCH Monday, March 31, for the official public announcement of the agreement that becomes effective May 1.
MCH Interim CEO Steve Meredith, who assumed the MCH CEO duties Nov. 1, will be replaced by Dr. Ed Heath, D.Se., FACHE. Heath will officially assume the position May 1.
Since 2008, Heath has served as Owensboro Health's vice president of business development and community health, and has been instrumental in increasing clinic revenue from $11 million to more than $94 million, enlarging the Owensboro Health medical group from 26 to 130 providers, and expanding access to care in 33 clinics over 16 specialties.
"I think MCH already has a template for success in place," Heath said. "They have a caring staff committed leaders and the support of the community."
David Jernigan, chairman of the MCH board, told the audience that a new era will begin for the hospital.
"We are here to celebrate an exciting new chapter in our hospital," Jernigan said. "The roots run deep in this hospital. It has been a major part of this community for 75 years providing quality healthcare to our community."
Jernigan noted that as the county continues to grow, the hospital must expand and improve its services as well.
"Our county is experiencing a lot of progress," Jernigan said. "For the county to continue to grow, the hospital must also grow."
Jernigan believes that for community-based hospitals must team up with the area's largest facilities with a wider range of services.
Lanie Gardner, a member of the MCH board of directors, was also excited about the affiliation of MCH and Owensboro Health.
"I know many of you live here, many of you were born here, and we consider this area our home," Gardner said. "This is our hospital. We want it to be here 50 years from now and a hundred years from now. Our vote to choose Owensboro Hospital came after a lengthy search process."
According to Gardner, the MCH board of directors chose Owensboro Health to provide management services and clinical expertise after an extensive search and evaluation of numerous health care services.
"What we discovered was that their vision and their sense of purpose are similar to ours," Gardner said.
Owensboro Hospital President and CEO Phillip A. Patterson emphasized to the gathering that the hospital is constantly looking for new ways to partner with existing facilities.
"We're not looking to own everything," Patterson said. "We're not looking to control everything. We're looking to improve outcomes for those who need care. Beginning today, Owensboro Hospital is honored to play a more active role in Muhlenberg County. Our goal is to help MCH be the best it can be and to work collaboratively to solve important health issues in this region."
SurfKY News Reporter
Photos by Paul McRee
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