The largest health care provider in Appalachia got bigger last week with the purchase of a new hospital and multiple clinics across three Eastern Kentucky counties.
Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Inc. finalized on Aug. 1 its purchase of the Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, as well as smaller outpatient clinics and home health operations in Johnson, Floyd and Magoffin counties. The hospital is valued at just over $11.1 million, according to the deed. A spokesperson for ARH did not return calls seeking comment on Wednesday.
Trena Hall, who served as transition officer for the purchase and was previously ARH’s director of corporate projects, has been named interim Community CEO of the Prestonsburg hospital, now known as the Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center, according to an announcement on the health care network’s website.
The merger has been in the works since at least September 2017, when ARH first signed a letter of intent to buy Highlands. The 192-bed hospital is the thirteenth in the ARH system. Last July, ARH purchased the 25-bed Saint Joseph Martin hospital and its four rural clinics in Floyd County.
The newest addition represents ARH’s “long-term plans for health care in eastern Kentucky,” ARH President and CEO Joe Grossman said in a statement. “As a member of our ARH system, Highlands will continue to provide excellent care while benefiting from the collective stability and strength of a multi-hospital system.”
A not-for-profit health system, ARH employs more than 500 people in hospitals, clinics and home health agencies spread across 11 eastern Kentucky counties, including Bell, Pike, Letcher, Morgan, Leslie and Harlan, and two counties in southern West Virginia.