Watertown Regional Medical Center Announces Selection of LifePoint Hospitals to Form a Joint Venture

Proposed transaction valued at more than $100 million, WRMC to retain equal voice in local governance

WATERTOWN, Wis.--()--The Board of Directors of Watertown Regional Medical Center has selected LifePoint Hospitals® to form a joint venture partnership that will position WRMC to continue advancing healthcare in the greater Watertown area for years to come, WRMC announced.

“Our decision to partner with LifePoint continues the journey we embarked on several years ago to transform WRMC and advance healthcare in our community,” said Jeff Baum, chairman of the WRMC Board of Directors. “We believe a partnership with LifePoint will only help accelerate our ability to fulfill our vision to build the community health system of the future, focused on keeping people well and designing an ideal patient experience. LifePoint not only meets but exceeds the expectations set forth by the Board at the beginning of this exploration in May.”

While there are many details to be finalized in the coming weeks, LifePoint has indicated it is willing to:

  • Invest more than $100 million in WRMC, which includes significant capital investments in the hospital. Also, the WRMC board will use the proceeds of the transaction to create a substantial foundation that will be focused on community health;
  • Help to enhance and expand services locally, including WRMC’s Wellness Initiatives;
  • Ensure equal representation on the hospital’s governing board, preserving a strong local voice in the operation and strategic direction of WRMC;
  • Retain all jobs and invest in WRMC’s employees;
  • Promote and honor WRMC’s mission to serve all who need care;
  • Continue the important clinical affiliation with WRMC’s long-time tertiary care partner UW Health;
  • And much more.

“LifePoint Hospitals is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with WRMC. We’re eager to work together to build on the great work done by the Board and leadership team to position WRMC for the future,” said William F. Carpenter III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LifePoint Hospitals. “We look forward to working together to enhance WRMC’s forward-thinking wellness initiatives, expand its impressive array of services, and enable WRMC to thrive and continue providing quality healthcare services to the greater Watertown community.”

In their shared vision of the proposed joint venture, WRMC and LifePoint intend to maintain WRMC’s mutually beneficial clinical affiliation with UW Health, one of the nation’s most well-respected academic medical centers.

WRMC’s Strategic Partnership Exploration Process

The WRMC Board selected LifePoint after a thorough and deliberate process to determine the right path for WRMC’s future. In May, WRMC announced that it would be exploring opportunities, including a potential partnership, that would allow WRMC to thrive in the midst of the biggest wave of change in healthcare in half a century. This comprehensive and fair market process included consideration of 23 respected hospital systems, including all regional systems in Wisconsin. WRMC board and leadership team members selected LifePoint after many conversations about LifePoint’s vision for WRMC and were impressed with their visits to multiple hospitals that are partners of LifePoint.

“We saw first-hand how LifePoint puts its vision in action, to make each of its hospitals a place where people choose to come for care, employees want to work, and physicians want to practice,” said John Kosanovich, President and CEO of WRMC. “LifePoint has a strong track record for successfully investing in and growing community hospitals like WRMC and improving the quality of care, through investments in state-of-the-art technology, facility improvements, physician recruitment and staff development.”

WRMC and LifePoint are entering a phase of exclusive negotiations toward development of a letter of intent, which is expected to be completed in the next several weeks. Following completion of due diligence and receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals, the parties expect to finalize the joint venture partnership in early 2015.

More information about WRMC’s partnership exploration can be found at AdvancingWRMC.com.

About UWHP Watertown Regional Medical Center

A progressive regional health system which has served residents of South Central Wisconsin for more than 100 years, Watertown Regional Medical Center (WRMC) is working to redefine excellence in healthcare. Comprehensive programs of excellence in Women’s Health, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Heart and Vascular and Pediatrics provide advanced care to the region. Our clinics throughout the region provide convenient access to both primary and specialty care with an emphasis on wellness and disease prevention. WRMC has a clinical affiliation with UW Health – one of the nation’s most respected academic medical centers – providing exceptional specialty care resources for adults and pediatrics as well as a link to the university’s research and academic work.

About LifePoint Hospitals

LifePoint Hospitals® is a leading hospital company focused on providing quality healthcare services close to home. Through its subsidiaries, LifePoint operates more than 60 hospital campuses in 21 states. With a mission of “Making Communities Healthier®,” LifePoint is the sole community hospital provider in the majority of the communities it serves. More information about the Company, which is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, can be found on its website, www.LifePointHospitals.com. All references to “LifePoint,” "LifePoint Hospitals," or the “Company” used in this release refer to LifePoint Hospitals, Inc. or its affiliates.

Contacts

For UWHP Watertown Regional Medical Center:
Tina L. Crave, 920-262-4358
tcrave@uwhpwatertown.com
or
For LifePoint Hospitals:
Diane Huggins, 615-920-7651
diane.huggins@LPNT.net

Contacts

For UWHP Watertown Regional Medical Center:
Tina L. Crave, 920-262-4358
tcrave@uwhpwatertown.com
or
For LifePoint Hospitals:
Diane Huggins, 615-920-7651
diane.huggins@LPNT.net