The Boards of Directors of the Oconee Regional Medical Center (ORMC) and
Oconee Regional Health Systems (ORHS) voted last night to enter into a
sale agreement with the Prime Healthcare Foundation, a 501(c)3 public
charity and affiliate of Prime Healthcare Services, one of the nation’s
leading health systems with 44 hospitals in 14 states. The agreement will
ensure the long-term viability of the hospital, continued access to quality
care, and retention of hundreds of jobs. It will also allow ORMC to continue
to make a positive impact on the overall health of patients and the local economy.
“Our goal when we began this process over a year ago was to maintain
a viable hospital here in Baldwin County. We have accomplished that and,
as a result, our community will continue to have access to quality care,”
said Steven M. Johnson, interim chief executive officer. “This agreement
is the result of a lot of hard work by many people including our board
members, employees, and medical staff. During a challenging period for
the hospital, our team continued to deliver high quality patient care
and helped us reduce costs, successfully positioning us for this opportunity.”
Like many other unaffiliated community hospitals in Georgia and throughout
the United States, ORMC has faced growing financial challenges. In 2016,
nationally recognized financial experts, Houlihan Lokey and Grant Thornton,
were engaged to identify a solution that would allow the hospital to remain
viable for the long term.
“Prime Healthcare has a national reputation for successfully turning
around hospitals like ours. Their experience will allow for stabilization
of the hospital, expanded services, recruitment of medical staff, and
capital improvements - all of which is good for our community,”
added Dr. Phyllis Parks-Veal, chair of the ORMC Board of Directors.
As efforts to identify a potential buyer continued, ORMC leaders worked
closely with members of the county commission, in particular Baldwin County
Commission Chairman Sammy Hall and Commissioner Henry Craig, to ensure
that the future of the hospital would be secure.
“One of the most important assets for any community is access to
health care. Without that, we cannot promise the quality of life we want
for our citizens nor can we attract the kind of economic development that
is so critical to our future. This decision, which will allow ORMC to
remain viable, is without question in the best interest of the county,”
said Chairman Hall.
“We appreciated having the opportunity to be part of this process
and agree that the decision made tonight will not only stabilize the hospital,
but ultimately make it an even greater asset for our community,”
continued Commissioner Henry Craig.
The process to transfer ownership will take approximately 90 days. During
that time, the hospital will continue uninterrupted day-to-day operations
and work with the new owner to ensure a smooth transition for patients,
employees, and medical staff.
“The sale agreement also includes Oconee Regional Health Ventures,
Inc., and was approved tonight by those entities as well as Oconee Regional
Health Systems, the Baldwin County Hospital Authority and other related
subsidiaries and affiliates,” added Ted Zarkowsky, chair of the
ORHS Board of Directors.
“Prime Healthcare looks forward to caring for the community and partnering
with the dedicated physicians, nurses, and employees of Oconee Regional
Medical Center,” said Prem Reddy, M.D., chairman, president and
CEO of Prime Healthcare. “We are committed to providing the best
quality care in each and every community we serve, and the addition of
Oconee Regional to the Prime Healthcare family will allow us to continue
As required by Georgia law, the sale agreement will be reviewed by the
Attorney General’s office. That review will include a public hearing
to allow for community input. In addition, ORMC and certain affiliates
have filed the necessary motions for the approval of a Section 363 asset
sale in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
This approach is commonly used to facilitate such transactions and will
allow for continued operations and a relatively short timeframe for completion
of the sale.
“As we look to the future, I want to thank our Board of Directors,
employees, and medical staff for their incredible commitment to this hospital
and the patients it serves,” concluded Dr. Parks-Veal.
Oconee Regional Medical Center will retain its non-profit status.
About Oconee Regional Medical Center
Oconee Regional Medical Center is located in Milledgeville, Georgia, and
provides advanced healthcare to residents in surrounding counties. The
hospital offers a wide range of medical services, including specialized
treatment centers, a 24/7 emergency department, outpatient treatment programs,
and health education programs. In 2016, ORMC was recognized as one of
the top hospitals in the state by
Georgia Trend magazine. For additional information, visit www.oconeeregional.com.
About Prime Healthcare Services and the Prime Healthcare Foundation
Prime Healthcare is an award-winning national hospital system with 44
acute-care hospitals providing nearly 44,000 jobs in 14 states. Fourteen
of the hospitals are members of the Prime Healthcare Foundation, a 501(c)3
public charity. Based in California and one of the largest hospital systems
in the country, Prime Healthcare is committed to ensuring access to quality
healthcare. Prime Healthcare and its hospitals have been recognized as
among the “100 Top Hospitals” in the nation 38 times and among
the “15 Top Health Systems” three times, and Prime is the
only “10 Top Health System” west of the Mississippi. For more
information, please visit