PRINCETON — Princeton Community Hospital (PCH) has officially acquired Bluefield Regional Medical Center (BRMC) and its associated ancillary healthcare operations.

The deal received final approval on Oct. 1, sealing the partnership for the two hospitals.

“We believe that the acquisition of BRMC will enable us to build upon and streamline the quality of health care we provide to our patients and to further enhance the service lines available to the region,” said PCH CEO Jeffery E. Lilley in a statement Monday.

Most employees will remain, he added.

“We are pleased to report that the agreement includes a commitment to hire substantially all employees in good standing including the entire Senior Administration Team,” he said. “This will facilitate a seamless transition with no disruption to patient care. In fact, patients can expect to receive the same high quality of care from the same physicians, nurses, and support staff.” 

Lilley said the acquisition will provide enhanced health care services to area residents.

“We are excited by the new partnership with BRMC and by the opportunity it offers to build upon certain service lines to ensure greater medical access and to strengthen delivery of health care in our area,” he said.

The two hospitals’ first joint event was held Tuesday night.

The “Pink is my Power Color” fun run/walk was at Bluefield City Park and focused on breast cancer awareness.

“This is an opportunity for us, we really just are in the very, very early stages of this change… “ Lilley said at the event. “We’re working together in a lot of different areas and in a lot of different ways.”

Working together is the key, he said.

“This is an event that we can all come together on,” Lilley said. “We all support it for the same reasons and will be able to make a difference. It’s critically important to our communities and for our hospitals to be able to support things like this. We look forward to being able to do this as we go forward here in Mercer County.”

The PCH Board of Directors approved the acquisition agreement June 27 after weeks of speculation.

“Our hospital was founded nearly 50 years ago thanks to the generosity, pride, vision, and determination of thousands of Mercer County citizens.,” Lilley said at that time. “They saw the need for a modern, not-for-profit health care facility in their community. Through their donations, large and small, their vision became a reality. Because PCH has always put people and community wellness as a top priority, it has been able to attract and retain a highly skilled medical staff and invest in leading edge technology consistently through the years.”

Lilley said the acquisition of BRMC “will enable us to build upon and further modernize the quality of health care we provide to our patients and continue to enhance the service lines available to the region.”

He also had praise for BRMC.

“We applaud BRMC and the quality of care they have provided to the area since 1979 and we are excited about working together to build upon the strengths of both organizations,” he said. “Through the next few months, we will evaluate these options and collaboratively identify the best path that assures patients in our primary and secondary service areas are provided the highest quality health care they have come to expect.”

Lilley said those steps will “further develop and strengthen delivery of health care in our communities..”

“People and their commitment to make each facility the best it can be are what drive both organizations to be successful,” he said. “The agreement includes a commitment to hire substantially all employees in good standing when the transaction is complete.”

The day-to-day operations of BRMC will not be affected by the agreement, the statement from PCH said.

Both hospitals will work together to “ensure a smooth transition to new ownership.”

BRMC was owned by Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS), based in Franklin, Tennessee, which purchased the hospital in 2010.

Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline.com 

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