Bay Medical Celebrates Privatization Deal
Panama City, Forida –
Christa Dean Hild
Two days after finalizing the Bay Medical Center lease and asset purchase agreement, joint venture executives and hospital staff celebrated the historic deal Wednesday.
Sacred Heart Health System and LHP Hospital Group hosted a luncheon for employees outside Bay Medical's main entrance. Later, physicians and community leaders were guests at a reception.
"I've worked here for thirty two years and this is a beginning for Bay Medical Center," said Sheila Tison, Nurse Manager. "It's wonderful."
Dan Moen, LHP's Chief Executive Officer, said Bay Medical employees are a valuable asset. "They have made the hospital what it is today," he said. "The reputation that [Bay Medical] has is in large part because of them and we thought it was only appropriate to recognize them with a small celebration of our appreciation."
Earlier this week, Sacred Heart and LHP bought Bay Medical's non-real estate assets, paid off its $115 million debt and entered into a forty-year lease of the facility.
"This is an opportunity for us to begin anew," said Tison.
Terms of the deal included retention of all current hospital employees. Payroll and benefits programs have been transferred to the joint venture. "The benefits package is phenomenal," said Cindy Adams, Charge Nurse. "I think people were worried what the employees here were going to be offered but I think everybody has been very excited."
Employees said they're optimistic that Bay Medical's future includes new equipment, more doctors and expanded services. "We've done it a number of times before so, while it's somewhat unique, we're not practicing," said Moen. "It will be a very successful venture."