SBL Fayette County Hospital Transfers Ownership
The Fayette Hospital District Board unanimously voted at its meeting on February 28, 2022 in favor of transferring ownership of the hospital to Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center.
The Fayette County Hospital District Board and Sarah Bush Lincoln began negotiating terms for the transfer of Sarah Bush Lincoln Fayette County Hospital to Sarah Bush Lincoln in December. The FCH District Board voted to accept the terms at its meeting, and the SBL board of directors unanimously voted this week to also accept the terms.
The next step is for the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to approve the proposed change of ownership. The request is expected to be approved in the coming months.
With the transfer, Sarah Bush Lincoln has pledged to make significant investments in Fayette County Hospital and Long Term Care. In the agreement, SBL will purchase SBL Fayette County Hospital (FCH) and Long Term Care. Funds will be placed in a trust and earmarked for future capital needs, information technology and increased wages and benefits for FCH employees. In turn, the District board will transfer its cash and investments into the trust and the board will assign ownership of the property and assets to Sarah Bush Lincoln. The transfer will also end the $550,000 annual property tax on county residents.
Sarah Bush Lincoln President & CEO Jerry Esker said, “We are excited for the opportunity to grow SBL Fayette County Hospital by making significant investments throughout the organization to improve processes and enhance quality. We admire the employees and leaders of Fayette County Hospital who are committed to providing quality healthcare in this region and have embraced Sarah Bush Lincoln since it began operating the hospital two years ago. It’s been a wonderful partnership. We are also grateful for the collaboration demonstrated by the District Board. Throughout this process, it was clear the District Board cares deeply for the hospital and wants to strengthen it and protect it well into the future. They did that Monday night, with their unanimous vote.”
SBLFCH President & CEO Greg Starnes echoed Esker’s words, “In the more than two years we’ve been associated with Sarah Bush Lincoln, it has invested far more than it was contractually required to do. The investment was the right thing to do for our patients and community. I think it speaks volumes when you hear our employees talk about the agreement. Many have shown their strong support, and the District board listened to them.”