Baptist Health Systems (Baptist), based in Jackson, Miss., and Leake County officials have finalized the purchase by Baptist of Leake Memorial Hospital/Extended Care and Clinic facilities. Baptist has been overseeing day-to-day operations of the 25-bed hospital and 44-bed Extended Care Facility since March. Ownership of all facilities, its assets, equipment and holdings, went into effect on November 1.
As part of the purchase agreement, all Leake Memorial Hospital/Extended Care Facility and Clinic employees will now operate within the Baptist network. Baptist plans to develop both short-term and long-term strategic plans to improve healthcare in Leake County, including adding several key service lines, additional long term care services, and more specialty services. Immediate needs include renovations to current facilities and physician recruitment.
“We just completed a community survey to determine what the most pressing issues and most appropriate actions are in regards to the health of this community,” said Jerry Cotton, Administrator of Leake Memorial Hospital. “There are concerns that have to be addressed immediately and we want to fill in the gap until we are able to move forward with more long-term plans.” Cotton said upgrades to the ER will be among the first items to be addressed. Baptist is also considering the initiation of a hospitalist program, which will increase efficiency, reduce costs, and provide better patient care.
“Baptist is committed to keeping the hometown feel of Leake Memorial Hospital while giving patient access to Baptist’s network of award-winning comprehensive medical and specialty services,” said Mark Slyter, CEO of Baptist. “Working with Leake Memorial’s leadership and professional team, we plan an orderly transition, planning no near-term substantive changes that might impact patients or physicians or interrupt scheduling or other procedures already in place.”
Baptist officials anticipate the transition will be complete sometime in January.