The Board of Directors for East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) and the Chattahoochee Valley Hospital Society, Inc. (Lanier Health Services) announced last week that the two entities plan to complete a merger by the end of the year. The two boards met separately last week and signed a letter of intent that would fully affiliate the two hospitals.
The agreement states that the George H. Lanier Memorial Hospital, the nursing home and all physical facilities will continue to be owned by Lanier Health Services and the facilities leased to a subsidiary of EAMC. The hospital will still be known and operated as the George H. Lanier Memorial Hospital and will become an operating entity of the EAMC healthcare delivery system. The subsidiary of EAMC will assume all other assets and liabilities of Lanier Health Services.
According to a press release from EAMC and Lanier, the four-mill property tax increase that Chambers County voters approved in May that is to be used for direct support of Lanier will not be affected by the affiliation. Since operation of the hospital will continue, the tax revenue will exclusively fund Lanier for the next 10 years.
“We are excited about extending the reach of EAMC to all of Chambers County and aligning ourselves with Lanier Health Services with its long history of service to Chambers County and the Chattahoochee Valley,” Terry Andrus, President and CEO of EAMC said, “A combined operating philosophy should benefit the citizens of Chambers County greatly and continue to provide the quality of healthcare everyone has come to expect. The increased volume for the combined entity should allow us to achieve even greater efficiencies in delivering healthcare across a broader area.“
“This affiliation with EAMC will be good for everyone,” Bill Scott, President of the Board of Directors of Lanier Health Services said. “It will streamline care for all the citizens of Chambers County and insure that the latest services can be provided to both Lee and Chambers Counties in a seamless and efficient manner. As a rural hospital, Lanier often found itself at a disadvantage to larger, more well capitalized health care providers. This affiliation will insure that the primary delivery provider in the county will be able to compete with and provide the services the people deserve in a very challenging and ever changing healthcare environment.”
East Alabama Medical Center is a full service healthcare provider, which has served the greater Lee County area for more than 60 years. EAMC has over 2,200 employees and a physician community of over 169 physicians.
The Alabama-Georgia Hospital Society (operating as Lanier Health Services or George H. Lanier Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home) was founded in 1950. Lanier Health Services also operates a 103-bed skilled nursing home facility attached to the hospital. The hospital currently employs 423 people and has an active medical staff of 34 physicians.