After eight months of discussions with Nashville, Tenn.-based Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. and three other systems, Williamsburg (Va.) Community Hospital has opted to protect its not-for-profit status and strengthen its regional ties.
The community hospital announced it will form a shared equity partnership with Sentara Health System, based in Norfolk, Va.
In a written statement, Leslie Donahue, chief executive officer of Williamsburg Community, said the hospital decided to go with Sentara because of its "long-standing commitment to a not-for-profit mission that will likely continue in the future" and its emphasis on managed care.
The hospital had earlier solicited bids from Sentara; Columbia; Bon Secours Health System in Marriottsville, Md.; and Riverside Health System, based in Newport News, Va. (March 25, p. 39).
David Bernd, president and chief executive officer of Sentara, said the system will most likely buy a 49% stake in Williamsburg Community in an effort to achieve a stronger foothold in the Newport News area.
In 1995, according to Bernd, the not-for-profit system earned $28 million on $929 million in revenues. Currently, Sentara owns four hospitals, 12 nursing homes and four HMOs in the state. It also is affiliated with about six other hospitals and is "constantly having discussions" with others, Bernd said.