Each side blaming the other in Novant, Memorial partnership collapse

New strategic partner offer made regarding Memorial University Medical Center

SAVANNAH, GA (WSAV-TV) – Novant executives say the oversight from the Chatham Hospital Authority was too much for them to move forward in the partnership.

Leaders of the board are pushing back.

In the memo to Memorial board members, the president of Novant healthcare says they would be unable to “meet the demands of a rapidly changing healthcare landscape,” if they were to continue the partnership with Memorial health.

Novant’s president claims that would be the case because in the agreement the hospital authority board as well as the Memorial board of directors would both be overseeing and governing the healthcare provider.

Hospital Authority board chairman Don Waters released a statement to News 3 firing back at the claims the healthcare provider needed more “flexibility”.

Waters says less than two weeks ago they, the Memorial board, and Novant executives were on the same page saying:

In fact, as recently as 10 days ago, Novant had a lease in hand that reflected the agreement reached with the Authority in late April.

Waters adds that Novant wanted more flexibility in how it operated adding that:

In its May 9 memo, Novant’s president and CEO noted that, under the approach advocated by the Authority, Novant would lack the flexibility to implement best practices quickly and meet the demands of the rapidly changing healthcare landscape. This should be of grave concern to all Chatham County residents, as the primary concern of the Authority is to retain oversight over Memorial’s safety net services, primarily its Level One Trauma Center, Level Three NICU and a continued commitment to indigent care and medical education.

Chatham county officials spoke to News 3, in anonymity, saying that in some parts of the negotiation, Novant officials were not convincing in their promises to keep the level one trauma center as well as the level three neo natal care units as a top priority.

Waters points to that uncertainty saying lastly that:

There was simply not enough local oversight in the Memorial Board (whose board members would have been subject to the approval of Novant) to assure these safety net services would be retained.



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