Henry County Health Center moves forward with plan to secure lease agreement with Great River HealthWritten by Theresa Rose on November 17, 2020
HCHC to be operated by Great River Health, subject to March 2021 county vote
MOUNT PLEASANT – Today, the Henry County Health Center (HCHC) Board of Trustees approved a Memorandum of Understanding to pursue an expanded lease agreement with Great River Health (GRH). In the coming weeks, the two organizations will perform due diligence and formalize the decision with a HCHC Board vote to approve the plan at its December 15 meeting. The lease agreement will be put to a vote before Henry County residents and finalized if the special proposition is approved in a March 2021 special election.
“For more than 10 years, we have partnered with Great River Health under a management agreement at HCHC,” said Henry County Health Center CEO Robb Gardner. “This expanded relationship is a great opportunity to continue serving the healthcare needs of Henry County residents into the future.”
Under the lease agreement, many of HCHC’s current ties to the community will remain unchanged: Henry County Health Center will continue to be the name of hospital, and HCHC Foundation funds will stay within the community.
“This is an investment in our region. As a community-based health center, HCHC patients are oftentimes family members, friends, and neighbors. As the landscape changes for rural healthcare across the country, it’s important we maintain the trust and connection our hospital provides to Mount Pleasant and surrounding communities,” said Kent Severson, Chairman of the HCHC Board of Trustees. “This decision means continued, quality access to healthcare for everyone in the region – and a way for us to better manage anticipated challenges that lie ahead.”
“Many of us know GRH is a trusted partner with a proven track record of strengthening local healthcare. We have known and worked with Great River Health employees for many years, and its providers and leaders already know and value their commitment to Henry County Health Center,” said Gardner. “GRH is located here in Southeast Iowa and its leadership team understands the importance of local healthcare management.”
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“The trustees are all Henry County residents who, after weighing several options in the last year, came to this decision with our friends and neighbors in mind,” said HCHC Board of Trustees member Carla McNamee. “HCHC is currently in a strong position and acting now to prepare for the future will ensure we all will have the healthcare services we need, close to home.”
Registered Henry County voters will ultimately vote to approve the lease agreement proposition on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. If the proposition is approved, HCHC providers and staff members will remain HCHC associates and retain their current benefits. At this time, it is not anticipated there will be any position eliminations resulting from this agreement.
“Great River Health has demonstrated its goodwill with how they delivered a solution that helped us retain Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the county,” said Severson. “Had GRH not stepped in to manage this situation with our county, we may have lost this service that provides emergency transport for approximately 1,900 requests each year. That’s the kind of collaboration we can count on with this agreement.”