Business Briefs

Duke Health venture buying Person hospital

Posted June 6, 2011 1:55 p.m. EDT
Updated June 6, 2011 2:00 p.m. EDT

— Person Memorial Hospital has agreed to be acquired by Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System and for-profit LifePoint Hospitals.

The hospital's Board of Trustees signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding last week that will allow both sides to move forward with due diligence and other necessary steps before proceeding with the acquisition, which would need to be approved by the state Attorney General's Office.

“Over the last several months, our board has been working to develop a strategic plan that will effectively strengthen our hospital for the future,” board Chairman Robby Jones said in a statement. “As we explored our options to secure the future of the hospital to continue to serve the people of Person County, it became clear that an affiliation would be critical to the future of our hospital. As we explored our partnering options, Duke LifePoint emerged as a great fit for our hospital. Duke LifePoint shares our commitment to our employees and medical staff, to quality healthcare and clinical operations and to the community. We look forward to examining this proposed partnership further in the weeks to come.”

A local board of trustees and physician advisory council would ensure local involvement and governance of the hospital, officials said. Proceeds from the proposed transaction could be used to create a community foundation to support local nonprofits, they said.

“Duke has had a management relationship with Person Memorial for 13 years, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to expand this relationship through Duke LifePoint,” Dr. William J. Fulkerson Jr., executive vice president of Duke University Health System, said in a statement. “The medical staff and employees at PMH have a strong commitment to clinical excellence and patient satisfaction, and we look forward to the prospect of working together to further strengthen the delivery of healthcare services to the community.”

Maria Parham Medical Center in Henderson previously joined the Duke LifePoint system.