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Birmingham's Baptist and Brookwood Hospital Announce Merger

Jun 23, 2015
The Alabama Baptist – June 23 –The four hospitals that make up Baptist Health System (BHS) are officially set to merge with Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham to become a new hospital system. 

The definitive agreements were signed late yesterday and will include all health care-related businesses owned by both groups. 

BHS president and chief executive officer Keith Parrott will become CEO of the new hospital system and anticipates the hospitals will begin operating as one company in September, after receiving necessary regulatory approvals. 

Parrott said the move allows BHS to secure a solid financial future and creates significant funds for capital needs while preserving the Baptist name and heritage of doing health care with a spiritual component. 

Negotiations have been ongoing since the letter of intent was signed between BHS and Tenet Healthcare of Dallas (which owns Brookwood Medical Center) on Dec. 15, 2014. 

Twenty-nine members of the executive board for Birmingham Baptist Association (BBA), which approves the board members for BHS, met yesterday morning and overwhelmingly approved creation of the new hospital system. 

While the new name has not been released, Parrott indicated Baptist will be in the name and that the five hospitals will operate with Christian principles. The names of the four existing BHS hospitals — Princeton Baptist Medical Center, Shelby Baptist Medical Center, Walker Baptist Medical Center and Citizens Baptist Medical Center — will not be changed unless the current BHS board makes that decision. This board will remain intact and will be known as the legacy BHS board. One of its roles will be to select five members of the new company’s 10-member board to represent BHS’ side of the partnership. The other five will represent Tenet. Three of the five board members representing BHS are mandated to be part of participating BBA churches, and one of those three must be a senior pastor. Parrott anticipates $1 billion in annual revenue and 7,500 employees for the new hospital system. “We will be paying $12 million in new tax revenues, so this is a positive for the community because we are not paying those now,” he said. Tenet became the obvious choice for a partner for BHS because of its track record of partnering with other faith-based institutions, the services it offers and its financial health, Parrott noted. “With the economic realities of where health-care systems are today … to be healthy financially and able to move ahead with technological advances, we needed a partner,” he said. He also noted the new company will continue the BHS purpose of delivering health care in Christ’s name by being Christian in its nature and focus.

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