Strong health care will be made stronger as a result of Tuesday’s decision by the Hawkins County Memorial Hospital Board of Directors to join Wellmont Health System, officials say.
Beginning immediately, the management teams of HCMH and Wellmont will undertake the process of turning the approved affiliation proposal into a legal partnership. Pending final approval by the Boards of Directors of HCMH and Wellmont, Hawkins County Memorial will become an official member of the Wellmont system with the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.
The Hawkins County Memorial Board voted to align with Wellmont following months of affiliation talks. The HCMH Board considered partnership proposals from both Wellmont and Mountain States Health Alliance.
“On behalf of our Board, medical staff and employees, I issue a hearty welcome – not just to Hawkins County Memorial and its staff but to the thousands of community residents who depend upon HCMH for their health care,” said Eddie George, Wellmont President and CEO. “I pledge to you we will do everything in our power to maintain and, indeed, enhance the high-quality medical services the residents of Hawkins County expect and deserve.”
Between now and July 1, officials with HCMH and Wellmont will shape the legal agreement that will join the organizations by expanding upon the terms included in the
approved partnership proposal. The process is expected to be a smooth one, George said.
When the partnership is finalized, Hawkins County Memorial will become the fourth member of the Wellmont system, which also includes Bristol Regional Medical Center, Holston Valley Medical Center and Lonesome Pine Hospital. With the addition of HCMH, the Wellmont system will grow to include four hospitals, 998 licensed beds, more than 4,000 employees and hundreds of affiliated physicians.
“The addition of this fine hospital to our organization only serves to solidify Wellmont’s position as the region’s premier healthcare system,” George said.