WATERTOWN, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LifePoint Health, a leading hospital company focused on providing quality healthcare close to home, and Watertown Regional Medical Center (WRMC) today announced that they have finalized a joint venture to share ownership and operation of the hospital.
“This is an exciting day for WRMC and our communities,” said Jeff Baum, Chairman of the WRMC Board of Directors. “As part of LifePoint’s system, we have resources and support to advance healthcare throughout our region and strengthen the future of the communities we serve. We are pleased to have found a partner who shares our commitment to providing high-quality care to South Central Wisconsin.”
The joint venture will invest $100 million in WRMC and the community over the next 10 years. Investments will include significant advancements in technology, the expansion of clinical services and initiatives – such as WRMC’s Wellness Initiative, and facility improvements. LifePoint has also committed to hiring all employees, subject to standard pre-employment screenings, and investing in their professional development.
As part of the joint venture, LifePoint will own 80 percent of the hospital, while WRMC and the community will retain a 20 percent ownership stake. Governance of the hospital will be shared equally through the creation of a board with equal representation from both WRMC and LifePoint. This board will help ensure a strong local voice in the operation and strategic direction of WRMC.
“We are delighted to welcome WRMC to the LifePoint family,” said LifePoint Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III. “The hospital has been an invaluable asset to this community for over a century, and we look forward to our future as we continue to grow and enhance the services WRMC provides. Together, we have a great opportunity to transform healthcare delivery and ensure the health and well-being of patients throughout this region.”
Proceeds from the joint venture transaction will be used to pay off WRMC’s existing financial obligations, and the remaining assets will be used to create a substantial charitable foundation focused on community health. The foundation, called the Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation, will be established as an independent, locally governed, non-profit organization benefitting the health and wellbeing of the region.
As part of LifePoint, WRMC will become a tax-paying organization, providing a new source of tax revenues that will benefit the community and help fund local projects, support local schools and keep roads safe.
Richard Keddington will assume the role of WRMC Chief Executive Officer on September 14, replacing John Kosanovich, who will retire after serving as WRMC’s CEO for 20 years. Keddington was selected as the new hospital leader following a national search process.
“John has done an upstanding job leading WRMC throughout the joint venture process, and we wish him the best in his retirement,” said Baum. “We are confident in Richard’s ability to lead us through this transition as we become part of LifePoint’s network of hospitals and healthcare providers. Under Richard’s leadership, WRMC will continue to be a trusted choice for healthcare for years to come.”
An experienced hospital administrator, Keddington served for the past five years as CEO of Select Specialty Hospital, a two-campus, 63-bed hospital in Milwaukee, where he managed the hospital’s daily operations and implemented an overarching strategic plan. In this role, Keddington enhanced physician relationships and improved patient satisfaction.
The joint venture between Watertown Regional Medical Center and LifePoint was subject to regulatory reviews by the Attorney General of Wisconsin.
About 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.
About LifePoint Health
LifePoint Health (NASDAQ: LPNT) is a leading healthcare company dedicated to Making Communities Healthier®. Through its subsidiaries, it provides quality inpatient, outpatient and post-acute services close to home. LifePoint owns and operates community hospitals, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers and post-acute facilities in 20 states. It is the sole community healthcare provider in the majority of the non-urban communities it serves. More information about the company can be found at www.LifePointHealth.net. All references to "LifePoint," "LifePoint Health" or the "Company" used in this release refer to affiliates or subsidiaries of LifePoint Health, Inc.