MARIA PARHAM MEDICAL CENTER SIGNS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH DLP

1/31/2011

Henderson, North Carolina (January 31, 2011) -- Maria Parham Medical Center (MPMC) today announced that its Board of Directors approved and signed a memorandum of understanding to form a partnership to own and operate the hospital with DLP Healthcare, LLC (Duke/LifePoint), a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals®.

This non-binding agreement, which follows a year-long process of exploring potential affiliations, authorizes MPMC and Duke/LifePoint to move forward with necessary steps to pursue a proposed partnership. Following successful completion of due diligence and a negotiation process, the parties would enter into a definitive agreement.   

Under the terms of the proposed partnership, MPMC and Duke/LifePoint would share ownership and governance of the hospital. MPMC would retain 20% ownership and Duke/LifePoint would have 80% ownership. Governance would be shared 50/50 between MPMC and Duke/LifePoint, giving the community an equal and long-term voice in the strategic direction of the hospital. The retained assets of MPMC and the proceeds from the transaction would eliminate MPMC’s debt, and the remaining assets - approximately $30 million - would be used to create a locally governed charitable foundation that would fund new programs and services in the community.

“For the last year, MPMC has explored the possibilities of a partnership or affiliation that would allow us to strengthen our hospital,” said W. Beverly Tucker, MD, Chairman of the MPMC Board of Directors and family medicine physician who served the Henderson community for more than 30 years. “After lengthy consideration, the MPMC board unanimously determined that a partnership with Duke/LifePoint has the potential to bring a powerhouse of clinical and operational resources that could enhance our ability to grow and provide more services to patients. We are very excited about the tremendous benefits this proposed partnership offers our employees, medical staff and community.”  

Duke/LifePoint is a joint venture formed last year between Duke University Health System and LifePoint Hospitals to strengthen and improve healthcare delivery throughout North Carolina and the surrounding regions by establishing a network of community hospitals.  Duke/LifePoint combines LifePoint’s extensive operational resources and experience in successfully managing community-based hospitals with Duke’s renowned expertise and leadership in the development of clinical services and quality systems. MPMC would become the first hospital in the Duke/LifePoint network.

In addition to allowing due diligence and negotiations to begin, the memorandum of understanding outlines the essential criteria MPMC developed for a proposed partnership agreement. These criteria include the partner’s willingness and ability to strengthen the quality of care provided at MPMC, protect employees, improve the hospital’s financial viability, enhance the services it provides, collaborate with medical staff, and help the community.

“The Duke/LifePoint partnership exceeds the essential criteria we have established for a potential partnership and allows us to retain an ownership stake in the hospital and an equal voice in governance,” said Robert G. Singletary, MPH, MHA, President and CEO of MPMC. “In addition to offering unmatched clinical and operations expertise and resources, Duke/LifePoint shares MPMC’s commitment to local governance and charity care, employee satisfaction and physician collaboration. We are excited about the opportunity to be the first hospital in the Duke/LifePoint network.”

As part of a larger hospital system, MPMC will gain economies of scale, management expertise, assistance with physician recruiting, and a host of other capabilities. Duke/LifePoint has the ability to provide significant financial investment in MPMC and work with hospital management, employees and medical staff to grow existing healthcare services. It also could support the development of more specialized healthcare services locally, such as expanded cardiology and cancer care.

The due diligence and negotiation process is projected to take 60 days and a definitive partnership agreement is expected to be finalized in April. MPMC will hold forums with employees, physicians and the community to provide information and enable a full dialogue about the proposed partnership.

Prior to completion, the transaction would require the review and approval of the Attorney General of the State of North Carolina.    

 

About Maria Parham Medical Center
Maria Parham Medical Center is a private, non-profit, full-service regional hospital serving the people of north central North Carolina and Southside Virginia. With a team of more than 150 physicians and 700 clinical and support staff, Maria Parham offers a wide range of services and the latest technology to meet the healthcare needs of the community. Maria Parham, located in Henderson, NC, is fully accredited by both The Joint Commission and CMS. For more information about Maria Parham Medical Center, please call (252) 436-1800 or visit www.mariaparham.com

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