Fayette County Memorial Hospital’s (FCMH) Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to explore becoming part of Adena Health System.
In its first meeting of the new year, the trustees and Adena have agreed to a nonbinding letter of intent to, over the course of 2020, look into taking the current partnership to the next level, according to FCMH officials.
“Our nearly two-year partnership with Adena has been going extremely well, and the board has indicated its desire to investigate taking it to the next level,” explained FCMH CEO Mike Diener. “The agreement outlines areas that both entities would like to explore before making a final decision.”
Both parties will perform due diligence over the next 12 months to determine the necessary steps should FCMH decide to join Adena Health System as a fully affiliated hospital, officials said. Since announcing a partnership between the two, in 2018, Adena has grown services at FCMH in Washington Court House, allowing patients to receive specialty care in their home community.
“The partnership with FCMH is achieving our shared goal of keeping quality health care close to home and making that care convenient for individuals and families,” said Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham. “By entering the due diligence agreement with the FCMH Board of Trustees, we will each investigate what FCMH joining Adena could look like, come up with the terms that could come with an agreement, and most importantly explore how it enhances the well-being of the local community.”
Fayette County Memorial Hospital is one of Ohio’s few remaining county-owned hospital facilities.
“The board of trustees is taking a proactive approach in guiding the hospital’s future,” added Diener. “Maintaining an acute care hospital in the community is paramount to meeting the needs of those who live here, and Adena has a track record of providing quality specialty care in this community, and is familiar with our system.”
A critical access hospital, FCMH operates as a county-owned, not-for-profit organization, and is overseen by a county-appointed board of trustees. Fayette County has assumed some hospital debt in the past, and has expressed concern with taking on any additional commitment, according to FCMH officials.
FCMH and Adena have maintained a close working relationship since 2017, with the opening of an orthopedic clinic operated by Adena Bone and Joint Center, and located within FCMH. This partnership culminated into a formal affiliation agreement in September 2018. Since then, Adena has added more specialty departments housed within FCMH Medical Art Buildings #1 and #2.
To date, Adena provides care and services for the following specialties: cardiology, dermatology, nephrology, neurology, Ob/Gyn, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology. In November 2019, the two jointly began providing oncology care with the opening of the FCMH Cancer Care Clinic.
Adena Health System currently operates three hospitals, located in Chillicothe, Greenfield and Waverly, and employs more than 3,200 people in its nine-county service region.