West Georgia Health may seek a partnership with another health care organization as it continues to face fiscal challenges.
The health system, following a request from the Daily News, released the following memorandum from President and CEO Jerry Fulks that was distributed Tuesday to employees:
“For more than 75 years, West Georgia Health has been the cornerstone for health care in our community and region. Thanks to the generous support of the Callaway Foundation, Inc. and the Fuller E. Callaway Foundation, along with numerous businesses and individuals, our community has been enriched with many specialized health care services that are not typically found in a city the size of LaGrange.
However, the climate of health care operations across the nation is changing. While West Georgia Health’s current balance sheet remains strong (more than 95 days cash on hand), our health system joins hundreds of other community health systems across the U.S. in facing significant financial challenges over the next several years.
As we look toward the future, our hospital leadership believes that we must look for solutions to bolster our viability as a health system and consider ways to continue fulfilling our mission of providing top quality health care for the people of our region for years to come.
Under the leadership of a board-directed strategic planning committee, we have engaged with JP Morgan Chase, a leading financial consultant to the non-profit health care sector, to help us explore all available possibilities to achieve our long-term goals. JP Morgan Chase also assisted us in securing our bond financing of the South Tower project that opened in 2010.
At this point, we are in the early exploratory phase and unsure of where this process will lead or what options will surface. JP Morgan Chase will soon be vetting several health care organizations to determine whether a future formal relationship will be beneficial to both organizations. Now is an excellent time to enter this process because West Georgia Health’s exceptional performance in quality and service, our investments in information technology and recent efforts in physician integration make us a very attractive partner opportunity.
As this process could take several months, we will continue to go about our daily operations, focusing on our mission of providing exceptional health care to the people of our region. We will keep you apprised as major developments occur throughout the remainder of the year.”
Public relations officials said that because of “the strategic nature of this issue,” this was the only information that currently will be released.