COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's a done deal - St. Francis Hospital has been officially purchased by LifePoint Health, according to a spokesperson from St. Francis.
"We are delighted to finalize our partnership with LifePoint Health and begin a new chapter at St. Francis," said Richard Y. Bradley, chairman of the St. Francis Hospital Board of Trustees. "LifePoint and St. Francis share a dedication to quality care, creating great workplaces and being an engaged partner with our communities. We are proud to join the LifePoint family and move into the future from a position of strength."
With the completion of the acquisition, LifePoint has satisfied St. Francis' financial obligations, including paying off its loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). LifePoint also offered employment to all active employees, subject to standard pre-employment screenings, and is continuing to foster collaborative relationships with physicians.
LifePoint Health is based out of Brentwood, TN.
The official announcement of new ownership also comes with the naming of a new leader. On Monday, David Koontz has been named the hospital's new CEO. Koontz had served at St. Francis as LifePoint's transition executive at the hospital since September. Koontz will replace Kirk Wilson, who was named the hospital's interim CEO in April 2015.
"David is an exceptional leader with more than 30 years of healthcare administration experience, and we are confident he is the right person to lead St. Francis Hospital into a bright future with LifePoint," said Jeff Seraphine, president of LifePoint's Eastern Group of hospitals, of which St. Francis is a part.
This comes after a tumultuous year for the private hospital. On Nov. 14, their chief financial officer Matt Moore was fired after being suspended in late October; a week later, on Nov. 21 there were 65 positions eliminated.
Those decisions came on the heels of a "budget inaccuracy" found that $30 million missing
In March, Robert Granger resigned as president and CEO. Kirk Wilson was named as the new interim president and CEO for the embattled hospital in April.
In August 2015, a lawsuit involving St. Francis was unsealed; the lawsuit, filed by another Tennessee heathcare provider, Community Health Services, sued St. Francis for fraud, breach of contract and litigation costs and claimed hospital representatives lied during meetings on Jan. 8.
The suit claimed that St. Francis representatives were not forthright in stating that their issues were just financial, and did not disclose a Housing and Urban Development investigation against them.
This agreement would then be subject to review by the Attorney General of the State of Georgia before being finalized.