Officials with Hutcheson Medical Center’s Board of Directors announced Tuesday they have initiated the process to modify the management relationship with Erlanger Health System. The terms of an agreement are in negotiation, but it is the intent of the board "that Erlanger will no longer manage Hutcheson," officials said.
“The management agreement has not met the expectations of Hutcheson’s board of directors or the leaders of Walker, Dade and Catoosa Counties,” said Corky Jewell, chairman of Hutcheson Medical Center’s board of directors.
“A continuation of the agreement would not add value to the hospital.”
The two hospitals entered into a management agreement in April 2011 and recently ended negotiations during which both parties were unable to agree to terms for Erlanger to lease the North Georgia facility. According to Hutcheson’s board of directors, Erlanger’s offer "was not in the best interest of the hospital or the citizens of the counties it serves."
“Officials from all three counties are committed to financially supporting Hutcheson while the hospital seeks a different partner,” said Chad Young, attorney for Catoosa County.
Hutcheson is expediting its Request for Proposal (RFP) process and intends to meet with interested parties in the next two weeks, officials said.
Erlanger put over $20 million into Hutcheson during the period it was seeking to shore up the financially-ailing hospital in Fort Oglethorpe.
Roger Forgey, former Erlanger official, has been serving as president of Hutcheson, and its finances have improved in recent months.