CHS Pledges $75M to Upgrade Sharon Regional
SHARON, Pa. -- Community Health Systems pledges to invest “a minimum of $75 million” over five years at its newly acquired Sharon Regional Health System, reports the board of directors of Sharon Regional. Acquisition of the health system by Tennessee-based CHS was announced Wednesday. Terms of the asset purchase agreement were not disclosed.
The office of Pennsylvania’s attorney general will conduct a hearing this afternoon on the advisability of the acquisition. Sharon Regional is a nonprofit corporation and thus the Mercer County Orphan’s Court must approve by the commonwealth as well as its sale.
Today’s hearing begins at 1 p.m. in the Sharon City Building. The Mercer County Orphan’s Court will hold its hearing Feb 26 at the Mercer County Courthouse in Mercer, Pa.
The agreement was reached after five months of due diligence and exclusive negotiations following the Aug. 27 announcement of the signing of a letter of intent for the sale.
Sharon Regional’s board of directors says the $75 million CHS promises to invest will upgrade the health system’s facilities, services and medical technology.
“In addition,” the board states in its announcement, “the agreement outlines a continuation and growth of essential services (including medical/surgical, critical care, open heart and vascular surgery, emergency services, and obstetrics); the hiring of all active employees in good standing at the time the transaction closes in the same position, at the same rate of pay, with years of service recognized; maintaining Sharon Regional’s current medical staff and strong efforts to recruit new physicians to the community; continuation of charity care policies consistent with those currently in place; a local advisory board comprised of members of Sharon Regional’s medical staff and local community leaders; continued operation of the School of Nursing and School of Radiography; and much more.”
William Strimbu, chairman of the SRHS board, called the announcement “a great day for both Sharon Regional and the community. …CHS has an outstanding reputation for high quality and patient satisfaction and we’re excited to move forward with an organization that will help position Sharon Regional for future long-term success.”
Added John R. Janoso Jr., president and CEO of Sharon Regional, “I am very excited to move forward with our affiliation with CHS. Their recognition of Sharon Regional as a strong community asset and commitment to our region insures we’ll be well positioned to serve our patients moving into the future.”
The decision to sell the health system’s assets board followed a year-long process “to determine if the best interests of the community would be served by Sharon Regional remaining independent or pursuing some type of strategic partnership,” the board said. “The review focused on a strict set of criteria for assessing potential partners including community choice in a health-care provider; local control of health-care decisions; perpetuation of advanced care within the community; commitment to improve, not maintain, quality and service; and economic stability for the community.”
The acquisition approval process is expected to last several months. Once the sale becomes final, Sharon Regional will become a tax-paying entity, “contributing substantial new tax revenues to local communities,” the board noted in its announcement.
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