Hutcheson Hospital Gets New Management Group; Battlefield Imaging Sold For $5.2 Million; Walker County Grants $1 Million Loan

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

At a specially called meeting of the boards of Hutcheson Hospital, the boards voted to sell the hospital’s interest in Battlefield Imaging to co-owner Diagnostic Radiology Consultants for a projected $5.2 million and to enter into a management contract with GB Health Management, LLC.

The stock sale is subject to approval of documents in final form by Hutcheson’s legal team and executive committee.

The performance-based management contract and influx of operating capital "are designed to accelerate the hospital’s ongoing turnaround and pave the way for a comprehensive refinancing of the North Georgia regional hospital’s debt," officials said.

The boards of directors also voted to sign a note to Walker County for a $1 million loan Walker County Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell is granting the hospital for temporary cash flow needs pending the sale of the Battlefield Imaging interests. 

“These agreements are a culmination of hard work by the hospital’s management and staff, boards of directors, elected officials and civic leaders,” said Corky Jewell, Hutcheson Medical Center board chairman. “However, this would not have been possible without Commissioner Heiskell’s determination and vision for saving the hospital and preserving its tremendous economic impact in our community. Through her leadership and perseverance, Hutcheson will continue to serve the long term healthcare needs of Northwest Georgia.” 

Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Aiken, GB Health Management will immediately begin working with Hutcheson’s executive management team to implement a strategic plan to accelerate the hospital’s financial recovery. The strategic plan will focus on more efficient operation of the hospital and rebuilding the physician base, particularly in specialty and sub-specialty disciplines.  The plan will define and grow the services that are most beneficial to the community and allow the hospital to thrive.  Those targeted services include cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, oncology and general surgery. 

“The value, performance and quality of the hospital are incredibly strong in spite of the debt challenges created under previous administrations,” said Dr. Aiken, whose health care management and consulting company has worked with the hospital in recent months to outline a plan for long-term financial success. “Commissioner Heiskell’s steadfast support of Hutcheson proves that she values the hospital and its $870 million annual economic impact, which includes jobs for nearly 900 people and an annual payroll of $29 million, as well as increased business for our regional suppliers. Thanks to Commissioner Heiskell and Region’s Bank, Hutcheson is now in a position to fast-track the hospital’s recovery and reclaim its position as the healthcare leader for this region.”

 Dr. Aiken, founded HealthCorp, the former owner of North Park Hospital in Hixson, in 1987 and later sold controlling interest in 1993. He is a graduate of UTC and UT College of Medicine. 

 “GB Health Management brings extensive experience in community hospital leadership to the communities Hutcheson serves,” said Sole Commissioner Heiskell. “We are confident their team has the knowledge and experience to generate both short-term success and long-term viability.”

 “Under the leadership or Farrell Hayes as CEO, Hutcheson’s executive management team has done a tremendous job in leading the hospital and growing our services,” said Mr. Jewell. “We commend them on their success and look forward to the healthy future they will build for Hutcheson in partnership with GB Health Management.”


Chattanooga Police Warn Of Mystery Shopper Scam

The Chattanooga Police Department alerts the community about a Mystery Shopper Scam which may be occurring in the area. The scam sends out fraudulent checks along with a letter to potential victims, wanting them to deposit the fraudulent checks into their bank accounts. They then request the victim to buy iTunes gift cards and send the information from the cards to them via email.   ... (click for more)

Gainesboro Man Charged With Impersonating A TBI Agent

An investigation by   special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Gainesboro man charged with impersonating a TBI special agent. At the request of 16 th  District Attorney General Jennings Jones, on Thursday, TBI special agents  began investigating a report that an individual had entered a massage business in Murfreesboro ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)

Legendary Howard Coach Henry Bowles Dies At 80

Legendary Howard High Coach Henry Wesley Bowles, Sr., has died at the age of 80 after a lengthy illness. Coach Bowles was born in Chattanooga on Oct. 14, 1936. He graduated from Howard High School, class of 1955, and received his bachelor of arts degree from Lane College, Jackson, Tn. While at Lane College, he was student council president, business manager and Who’s Who among ... (click for more)

Silverdale Girls Claim District 5-A Championship

The face and philosophy might have changed, but the expectations for the Silverdale Baptist Academy girls’ basketball team remained the same. Heading into the season with five seniors and a first-year, first-time head coach in Victor Underwood, the Lady Seahawks had their sights set on winning a District 5-A championship. Wednesday night, they achieved that goal with ... (click for more)