White County Medical signs agreement with Newport hospital

White County Medical Center (WCMC) of Searcy has signed an Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) to acquire Harris Hospital in Newport from a subsidiary of Community Health Systems, Inc.  

The APA follows comprehensive due diligence performed by both organizations.

"This agreement to join forces with Harris Hospital signals an exciting future for healthcare in our region,” said Mitchell Hamilton, chairman of the White County Medical Center Board of Directors. "WCMC has an excellent reputation on a state and national level for clinical quality, service and team member and physician engagement. The addition of Harris Hospital to our organization will expand our ability to provide patients with convenient access to a network of the region’s best healthcare services."

The alignment of two neighboring hospitals brings changes and opportunities for healthcare to citizens in White County, Jackson County and the surrounding region. When the transaction is complete, WCMC and Harris will utilize their combined talent and resources to enhance access to care and improve clinical quality and service to their communities and decrease costs through shared efficiencies and purchasing opportunities.

“Healthcare is undergoing major changes. In order to position our organizations to continue providing the best care possible for our communities WCMC and Harris Hospital are joining forces which will in turn enhance our communities.” said Ray Montgomery, President/CEO of WCMC.

“Each hospital has a long tradition of providing healthcare for their respective community.  Planning stages of the transition process are moving quickly. Our goal is to support and enhance local services.” Montgomery added.  

White County Medical Center is among the state’s most comprehensive, rural not-for-profit healthcare providers, which includes two hospital campuses in Searcy as well as multiple physician clinics and centers. With the addition of Harris Hospital, WCMC will be positioned to provide even broader reaching services to Jackson County and surrounding areas.

“Alignment of the two facilities will allow White County Medical Center to build upon existing services,” said Edwin Sherwood M.D., White County Medical Center chief of staff.  “We are excited about the possibilities of enhancing Newport’s facility and services. With the multiple clinics that are affiliated with White County Medical Center and the numerous clinics affiliated with Harris Hospital this is strengthening the network both entities have worked to build.”

ARcare’s CEO Steven F. Collier M.D. noted: “It is a progressive move to have White County Medical Center in Jackson County to align with Harris Hospital. ARcare has served the Newport residents for over 15 years and we welcome the partnership in the community. The physician community in Newport is a strong one and this acquisition will further enhance our service to patients.”

Harris Hospital is a 133-bed facility with complete inpatient and outpatient care. The hospital is more than 225 healthcare professionals strong who work hard every day to create a place of healing, caring and connection for patients and families in the community they call home.

As the leading healthcare provider in a six-county area, White County Medical Center associates strive to improve the quality of health and well-being for the communities it serves through compassionate care. White County Medical Center is the largest employer in a six-county area with more than 1,750 associates. The facility has a combined total of 438 licensed beds and a medical staff of 150 physicians who specialize in various areas of healthcare.

In addition to the North and South Campuses, White County Medical Center includes Clarity Health and Wellness, Family Practice Associates, McAfee Medical Clinics, Orthopaedic and Spine Center of Central Arkansas, Searcy Medical Center and Searcy Medical Center – West Clinic, Westside Family Medical Clinic, WCMC Cardiology Clinic and White County Oncology.