Centra to purchase Carilion's interest in Bedford Memorial

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The Board of Directors of Bedford Memorial Hospital and Oakwood Health and Rehabilitation Center have endorsed a plan to transfer full ownership of the facilities to Centra in 2014.

Since 2001, the 50-bed community hospital and 111-bed long-term care facility have been co-owned by Centra and Carilion Clinic. Carilion will sell its 50 percent ownership to Centra.

The original decision to share ownership was made in order to focus more resources on patient care. “The collaboration was a successful and positive experience,” a news release on the sale stated. “Carilion and Centra have similar missions and values and enjoy a collegial relationship. The health care landscape has changed during the past 13 years with inpatient volumes declining in smaller hospitals like Bedford Memorial Hospital. In addition, Carilion has moved away from operating long-term care facilities while Centra currently operates three nursing and rehabilitation facilities.”

The Bedford Board of Directors, made up of representatives from Carilion, Centra and the Bedford community, determined the community’s health needs can best be served going forward with a single owner.

“We are committed to improve the health of the Bedford community,” said Carilion Clinic President and CEO Nancy Howell Agee. “We will continue to provide primary care in Bedford, and assure a spirit of collaboration with our Centra colleagues. We want what is best for the Bedford community.”

"Bedford is my home. I was born at Bedford Memorial Hospital, and I've lived there my entire life,” said Centra President and CEO E.W. Tibbs. “As a nurse and former CEO of this hospital, I have a vested interest in its future and success. As healthcare changes, this hospital will play an important role in the well-being and health of this community. I'm eager for this homecoming and for Centra to be a greater part of this hospital."

All Bedford Memorial Hospital employees will have the opportunity to transfer to Centra. They will maintain their accrued years of service and receive similar benefits.

“Our patients and this community will be our primary focus as we go through this transition,” said Bedford Memorial Hospital Vice President and Administrator Patti Jurkus. “We are committed to making 2014 a year of positive change for all of us.”

The ownership transfer is expected to be finalized in mid-2014.