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.”


Bradley County Woman Involved In Drug Ring Gets 63 Months In Federal Prison

Deborah Ruth Haney was sentenced on Monday to serve 63 in federal prison for selling meth. She appeared before Judge Sandy Mattice. Agents said Ms. Haney was in a drug ring with Lena Roberts, Joseph Varnell and others from July 2014 to February 2015. On Nov. 17, 2014, law enforcement conducted a controlled buy at Ms. Haney's residence in Bradley County. A confidential informant ... (click for more)

Upcoming Bradley County Commission Agenda

Click  here  for the Bradley County Commission agenda. (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Bible In Gatlinburg

The day after fire rained and reigned in Gatlinburg, Isaac McCord, 24 and from Tullahoma, was picking up debris at the popular Dollywood attraction. The theme park had minimal damage compared to the hundreds of structure either lost or severely damaged in Sevier County. He picked up a piece of paper that was in a puddle of water, beneath a bench. “It was one of the most surreal ... (click for more)

Both CCS Teams Win By 24 Points Over Boyd-Buchanan

Chattanooga Christian basketball coach Eddie Salter holds some really tough practices with his Chargers and he expects them to transfer that high-energy to game day. It seemed to work on Thursday night as Salter’s Chargers raced to a 21-5 lead after the first quarter and never looked back as they improved to 6-1 with the impressive 64-40 non-district win over visiting Boyd-Buchanan. ... (click for more)

Hamilton Heights Shines In Win Vs. Memphis East On ESPN2

Cousins Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sparked Hamilton Heights’ strong second half Thursday night as the Hawks pulled away to beat Memphis East 72-64 in a prep basketball game televised by ESPN2. Walker, a Virginia Tech signee, led the Hawks with a game-high 23 points, including 16 in the second half when he made four 3-pointers. Alexander, a Kentucky ... (click for more)