A partnership that began three years ago is in the process of becoming a buyout as Saint Thomas Health announced Friday it will acquire River Park and three other Middle Tennessee hospitals.
The announcement was made by Ascension, the parent organization of Saint Thomas Health.
Per terms of the definitive agreement, Saint Thomas will acquire the four Middle Tennessee hospitals owned by Capella Healthcare – River Park, Highlands Medical Center in Sparta, DeKalb Community Hospital in Smithville, and Stones River Hospital in Woodbury.
The four hospitals have been part of a joint venture relationship between Capella and Saint Thomas since 2012. The partnership was aimed at enhancing the level of care provided at rural hospitals.
Saint Thomas officials say gaining full ownership of these four hospitals will allow the company to better serve patients close to where they live and work.
During the multi-year partnership, which went into effect May 1, 2012, Capella-Saint Thomas Health expanded the healthcare offerings in each community and bolstered cardiac, stroke and telemedicine services.
“Since our partnership with Saint Thomas Health in 2012, we’ve further enhanced services in the Upper Cumberland region with our four hospitals becoming part of the Saint Thomas Stroke Network, adding new telemedicine capabilities, and broadening access to physicians,” said Michael A. Wiechart, president and CEO of Capella Healthcare. “To take care to the next level, we have been exploring with Saint Thomas how our partnership could best evolve to achieve our shared goals. With Saint Thomas’ national recognition for quality and its recent partnership with UT’s primary care residency program, we know this evolution in our relationship comes at the best possible time. We are proud of the work we have done together and know Saint Thomas is the right choice to continue to shape the future of healthcare in these communities and across Middle Tennessee.”
The four hospitals will become full members of Saint Thomas Health at a later date, subject to customary closing conditions.
The Saint Thomas network serves a 68-county area with 6,500 associates. Ascension is the largest nonprofit health system in the United States.