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Sarah Bush Lincoln presented the Fayette County District Hospital Board with a proposal to own the land, hospital and long term care, which would end the tax on county residents.
Sarah Bush Lincoln has operated the Fayette County Hospital and Long Term Care for two years and has cultivated positive working relationships.
SBL President and CEO Jerry Esker said, “When we came in two years ago, we made promises that we would make improvements in its operation and processes to enhance quality. And we’ve done that. We have built our organization using honesty and transparency as our cornerstones and that has served us well. I was hopeful that the district board would begin to realize the positive changes that have been made and those that could still be made.”
Sarah Bush Lincoln is poised to make significant investments in SBL Fayette County Hospital and Long Term Care if the change in ownership would transpire. Those include an investment in its information system moving the electronic medical record to the Cerner platform; building infrastructure; constructing a medical office building and replacement clinics off campus; replacing outdated equipment and purchasing new technology; more closely aligning employee salaries and benefits with those of SBL over time; and providing more financial assistance to patients without resources.
“We made the initial investment in purchasing Heartland Health System because our growth is in our southern market, which is only good news for Fayette County Hospital and Long Term Care. We offered to put substantial funds in a newly formed trust fund to be used for capital, IT, and an increase in salaries and benefits for the employees as a measure of good faith,” Esker said.
A purchase of this nature would eliminate the $550,000 in district taxes paid by community members and would allow SBL to significantly invest in FCH beyond the resources of the district.
It would also afford the creation of an Advisory Board in which members would be advisor and advocates for FCH.
According to SBLFHC President and CEO Greg Starnes, said there was some discussion by the board, however no action was taken on the measure., with an official statement saying a response would be made once the board had “time to digest” the offer. There was no discussion on when a vote would be taken.