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.”


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: CARR, ROBERT JONATHAN     6502 JOYFUL DR HIXSON, 37343     18     Hamilton County          POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA CHAIJ, JONATHAN BRANDON     1950 WATERBURY LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37421     23 ... (click for more)

Funeral Is Wednesday For Meigs County Woman, 41, Killed In Wreck

Funeral services will be Wednesday for a 41-year-old Meigs County woman who was killed Friday afternoon when another vehicle ran into her car on Highway 58 in Meigs County. Troopers said Klaresha Crass swerved her GMC truck into oncoming traffic to avoid a car waiting to turn left. She hit the Chevrolet occupied by the family of Tammy Renee England Whitted, of Decatur, head-on. ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Worley-Powered Vols Clobber Utah State, 38-7, In Opener

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee, trying to snap out of the doldrums of four consecutive losing seasons, started its 2014 campaign in fine fashion Sunday night before a season opening sellout crowd of 102,445 that endured a heavy rain story 30 minutes prior to kickoff. And senior quarterback Justin Worley, who missed the final four games in 2013 after undergoing thumb surgery, was ... (click for more)

Lookouts Reach Southern League Northern Division Playoffs With Doubleheader Win Over Smokies

The Chattanooga Lookouts are now playoff bound after sweeping a double-header against the Tennessee Smokies  to clinch the Southern League North Division for the second half of the season. The first game of the double-header was backed by a masterful gem of a game thrown by the starter for the Lookouts, Steve Smith (W, 3-2). Smith dominated the Smokies' lineup from top ... (click for more)