Capella Healthcare and Saint Thomas Health have signed a letter of intent to form a partnership that will result in the joint ownership and operation of Capella’s four Middle Tennessee hospitals.
Capella owns River Park Hospital, White County Community Hospital in Sparta, DeKalb Community Hospital in Smithville, and Stones River Hospital in Woodbury.
Officials expect the partnership to begin operations on or before March 1. Under the pending agreement, these hospitals will operate as part of the Saint Thomas Health Network, which will hold an equity interest.
Officials from both health care organizations were touting the agreement as a way to provide better care at River Park and the other three hospitals.
“Partnering with Saint Thomas Health, which is nationally recognized for its quality of care and innovative strategy, positions our Middle Tennessee hospitals for greater success as we seek to further expand services,” said Capella CEO Dan Slipkovich. “Our two organizations share a commitment to providing the highest quality of care for the individuals and communities we serve, and look forward to leveraging our strengths to expand our services.”
Saint Thomas Health president and CEO Mike Schatzlein said the partnership will be a way for River Park to expand and enhance services to Warren County residents.
“We look forward to providing support for the expansion of cardiac, neurosciences, and other specialty services, as well as collaborating on strategies for the use of innovative technology and clinical integration,” said Schatzlein.
Capella will be the managing member and the majority partner in the new venture. Under the agreement, Capella will be the exclusive development partner for Saint Thomas Health across Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.
Saint Thomas is known for its heart care and enhancing the cardiac service lines at all four hospitals will be a priority, according to Beth Wright, Capella Healthcare’s vice president of corporate communications. Re-opening the diagnostic cardiac catheterization lab at River Park was listed as one priority. River Park already has an accredited Chest Pain Center.
Wright also said the four hospitals would be reorganized into a coordinated health system to best leverage the Saint Thomas affiliation.
Saint Thomas Health’s regional health system consists of five hospitals – Baptist and Saint Thomas Hospitals and The Hospital for Spinal Surgery in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville. It has 6,500 employees.
Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States.
Capella Healthcare is based in Franklin, Tenn., and owns and/ or operates 15 hospitals in seven states.