New owners of St. Francis share plans for hospital - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

New owners of St. Francis share plans for hospital

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

St. Francis hospital announced Tuesday that they will be now operating under new ownership.

Tennessee-based LifePoint will now be operating St Francis, adding the Fountain City hospital to the long list of hospitals and regional health facilities they
own in 21 different states.  

"Today is a very exciting day for us, we are fortunate to work in communities across the country," said LifePoint's Eastern Group President Jeff Seraphine. "To be able to come here to Columbus and get to become a part of such a rich heritage of what St Francis has meant to this community and to help write the next chapter together its a very exciting day for LifePoint."

Back in 1954, St Francis first opened its doors to the people of Columbus. More than six decades later, now there's a new partnership with LifePoint. 

It comes on the heels of recent hardships for St. Francis. In 2014, the hospital had a $30 million accounting error that ended up costing 80 employees their jobs.

Then in April 2015, they were hopeful the company CHS would purchase the hospital, but by August, that potential buyer was filing lawsuits against St Francis. 

Getting through all that, St. Francis leaders says they've maintained their place as one of the top hospitals, especially cardiovascular, in the nation. 

"To be able to be apart of that and help that be all that it can be in the future and to help it grow and continue add services and continue that rich legacy that has been built here, it's a very exciting day for us and we think it is very much a part of who we are and what we do best," says Seraphine.

LifePoint has been part of the healthcare industry since 1997 and are anxious to move into an urban environment. 

"We have a lot of resources that we have built to help communities, medical communities be successful and be more than they could be on their own," Seraphine said.

LifePoint says they will be keeping all of the St Francis employees on staff at the same pay; all employees will however have to pass a background check and drug screening. 

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