BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-Baptist Health System began the first phase of its restructuring with the announcement last week that it will sell 101-bed Coosa Valley Baptist Medical Center in Sylacauga, Ala., to the Sylacauga Health Care Authority, which sold the hospital to Baptist a decade ago. The deal is expected to close within 90 days and is subject to regulatory approval. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed because of a confidentiality agreement between the parties, said John Floyd, chairman of the board of directors of the authority. A news release indicated that the authority plans an ambitious program of renovation and construction once it acquires the hospital and other assets, including a nursing facility, an ambulatory-care center and a fitness center. The deal is not expected to affect any current employees, all of whom will be hired by the authority once the transaction is completed. Top managers at the hospital also have agreed to remain in their current roles, according to the release. The deal is the first of three expected to trim the 10-hospital Baptist system to seven facilities close to its hub in Birmingham. In March, officials announced that the system, as part of a new strategic direction, would sell two hospitals-Coosa Valley and the 45-bed Cherokee Baptist Medical Center in Centre-and divest itself of 37-bed Lawrence Baptist Medical Center in Moulton once the lease expires March 31, 2005.
BALTIMORE-St. Agnes HealthCare, a 333-bed teaching hospital, said last week that it has partnered with Baltimore Medical System to expand services to medically underserved residents in the area. The two have been approved by HHS to convert their obstetric and pediatric clinics into a federally qualified health center. Baltimore Medical has applied to convert its adult healthcare services to receive the federal designation and to provide pharmacy services to all the clinics at the Baltimore Medical System at St. Agnes' community health center. The center will also partner with Family Health Center of Baltimore and has proposed to HHS to offer dental and behavioral health services at the center.