Thursday, March 14, 2013

Putting a Potential Partnership in Perspective

Where We’ve Been: A Brief History of Fauquier Hospital

The first hospital in Fauquier County opened its doors on February 26, 1925. It was located in a former residence at 32 Waterloo Street, Warrenton. Garner House, as it had been called, had been purchased by the Fauquier County Hospital Association for $14,000 from Mrs. Frances Garner Grayson in 1924. By the end of 1925, a total of 344 patients had been admitted to Fauquier County Hospital, as the facility had become known. There were 184 operations that year and 57 emergency treatments. Twenty-two babies were born there that year.

From 1926 through 1938, Fauquier County Hospital did rather poorly. The tiny non-profit hospital could not compete with other area hospitals. For lack of support, Fauquier County Hospital closed in 1940. But in 1941, a group of local physicians formed a for-profit corporation and purchased the old hospital with the goal of reopening it. Physicians' Hospital, Inc., as it was called, reopened on February 13, 1942, and was successful. During the war years it remained full to capacity, and a 16-bed wing was added to handle growing demand.

Physicians' Hospital remained profitable until 1953, when once again it failed to stack up favorably against other larger hospitals. On January 29, 1954 its ten physician stockholders met and resolved to solicit offers for the sale of the hospital. Quickly a group of local citizens expressed interest in purchasing the hospital. In May 1954, the citizen group, headed by prominent local businessman and civic leader Tom Frost, signed an option to buy Physicians' Hospital for $70,000.

Frost would go on to become the driving force in the life of Warrenton's hospital for the next 15 years. It was, to a great extent, his vision that brought about the Fauquier Hospital of modern times. The plan Frost and his group had was to quickly launch a community fund raising drive to collect $110,000, adequate funds to purchase, repair and equip the hospital. Everyone involved pledged that no one would be refused admission to the new hospital.

Just ten days before the purchase option was to expire, the group was $32,000 short of its goal. With just three days left, the effort was still $26,000 short. But a wave of contributions came in during those last three days, and by the deadline, August 1, 1954, the committee had raised $112,000 -- $2,000 over the goal. In total, 1,090 donors gave to the campaign. On September 1, 1954, the new Fauquier Hospital Board of Trustees became stewards of the community's new hospital. Once again, the hospital served patients, and once again, residents all too soon saw the need to expand its footprint and the services it could offer.

On November 16, 1958, 2,500 people attended the dedication of a new Fauquier Hospital on Hospital Hill. The 71-bed facility featured air conditioning throughout, a 30-foot square lobby with an aluminum entrance canopy, and three distinct nursing wings. There was a radiology department, laboratory, solarium, doctor's lounge and meditation room. Everyone agreed it was first class and state-of-the-art. The community took a real pride in the new building. It had been built with tremendous community support, and countless hours donated by an army of volunteer supporters.

Other renovations took place over the years, but in 1999, Fauquier Hospital embarked on a new journey that created the hospital residents know today. A five-story patient tower was built, featuring beautiful single-patient rooms. The expansion was created using Planetree, patient-centered principles, and was the beginning of a new era. The expansion of the Emergency Department to 33 rooms; 11 fourth-floor rooms to handle more medical and OB/GYN patients, a new Infusion Center and interventional radiology suite are more recent additions.

Outside the hospital walls, Fauquier Health added a rehabilitation and nursing center, a wellness center, a wound healing center, and an assisted living facility, in addition to several physician practices. All have been guided by the same patient-centered principles, and all with tremendous community support.

The story of Fauquier Hospital is the story of Fauquier County and its residents. The area has grown, and so have its healthcare needs. As the health system’s board of directors considers a partnership with LifePoint Hospitals, residents’ needs are still at the forefront. The community built Fauquier Health. Through an equal-share governance agreement with LifePoint and a new charitable foundation, the community will continue to guide its future.

Source: Monument on the Hill by Peter J. Fakoury

Where We’re Going: A Message from the chairmen

For the past several years, the Fauquier Health Board of Directors has been investigating the possibility of partnering with a larger health system. Although no one understands yet all the ways that the Affordable Care Act will impact our organization, we do know that we will have to do more with less. Requirements for quality care and positive outcomes will be more rigorous than ever, and reimbursements for this enhanced care will be reduced.

Fauquier Health is strong enough to remain independent for years to come. We would survive, even with the increased demands of health care reform. But we don’t just want to survive – we want to grow and thrive. There are services that we would love to offer, specialties we’d like to support, but because we are a small hospital with a limited population base, we haven’t been able to stretch that far. With a large health system behind us, willing to invest in our hospital, we will be better able to meet our community’s growing needs. Fortunately, we have been able to examine our options from a position of strength; our balance sheet has never been better. We received national and regional interest offering a variety of opportunities.

LifePoint has a financial stake in nearly 60 hospitals all over the country. We have spent the last few months talking with LifePoint executives and with folks who work at LifePoint hospitals; we have been encouraged as we’ve seen with our own eyes and ears that our missions are aligned. We have always felt that our community is essential to the success of the hospital, and the hospital is crucial to the success of the community. LifePoint sees that too. Employees’ jobs will be protected, services will continue – in fact, with LifePoint’s increased resources, we expect them to expand. Also, the creation of a multi-million dollar charitable foundation is an integral part of the plan so we can continue to support healthcare needs in our area. The principal of this foundation is representative of the time and investment this community has made since the hospital's founding. Fauquier Health will be debt free, and the monies raised here will remain here.

Another key point is that partnership with LifePoint will allow Fauquier Health to retain equal governance - that means 50 percent of the Board of Directors for the new joint venture company will be representatives from our community. Our board wanted to make sure we could continue to help make decisions about the kind of healthcare we provide.

We are now entering into the due diligence process. Many details are still being finalized, but we are committed to open communication throughout this process. Please feel free to call 540-316-3588 with questions.

We understand that each of you has a stake in Fauquier Health. It’s where you come to welcome your children into the world, where you come in the middle of the night in an emergency and a place where your friends and neighbors work. We are sure that this partnership will allow us to remain the community hospital you have come to trust – only better.

Marshall Doeller, Chairman, Fauquier Health System Board of Directors

Karen Wachtmeister, Chairman, Fauquier Health Foundation Board of Directors

Caren Eastham, Chairman, Fauquier Health Senior Living Board of Directors

 Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee.

 Founded in 1999, and has grown to a leading hospital company with more than $3.5 billion in revenues.

 Has a financial stake in 57 hospitals across the U.S., five of which are located in Virginia.

 Employs 28,000 and partners with 3,000 physicians.

 LifePoint is the sole hospital provider in most of its communities.

 In 2011, LifePoint became the only private organization in the country chosen by the Department of Health and Human Services to be a Hospital Engagement Network in the Partnership for Patients initiative, a nationwide public-private collaboration to improve the quality, safety, and affordability of healthcare for all Americans.

 LifePoint’s Mission: Making Communities Healthier

 LifePoint’s Vision: LifePoint wants every one of its hospital to be a place where:

• People choose to come for healthcare,

• Physicians want to practice, and

• Employees want to work.

 Five Guiding Principles: LifePoint was founded with five core guiding principles.

• Delivering high quality patient care

• Supporting physicians

• Creating excellent workplaces for our employees

• Strengthening the hospitals’ role in their communities

• Ensuring fiscal responsibility

Fauquier Hospital Opens New Interventional Radiology Suite

The large, semi-circular piece of equipment you see here is a fluoroscopic X-ray machine. It uses an X-ray beam to create images of the body. The X-ray tube that creates the X-ray beam is on one end of a "C-arm." There is a detector on the other end that captures the information as the X-ray beam leaves the body, then creates the image. 

If you have cancer, blocked arteries or veins, fibroids, back pain or thyroid disorders you may be diagnosed or treated with interventional radiology — a medical specialty that uses X-rays, MRIs, CT scanners and other imaging technology. Many conditions that used to require surgery are now treated by interventional radiologists, who insert catheters and other small tools into the body through small incisions. The physicians use imaging technology to guide the instruments.
Interventional radiology is less invasive, making recovery easier and faster than traditional surgery. Most patients who receive this type of treatment in a hospital can go home the same day.
In March, Fauquier Hospital debuted a new state-of-the-art interventional radiology suite that is giving  physicians the ability to perform procedures using even more intricate, detailed information. The new suite is equipped with full body fluoroscopy imaging technology. Fluoroscopy is a type of medical imaging that shows a continuous X-ray image on a monitor, much like an X-ray movie. It is used to diagnose or treat patients by displaying the movement of a body part or of an instrument or dye (contrast agent) through the body.
During a fluoroscopy procedure, an X-ray beam is passed through the body. The image is transmitted to a monitor so that the body part and its motion can be seen in detail.
Dr. Adam Winick, interventional radiologist at Fauquier Hospital, said, “The new software and hardware moves faster, provides clearer images and uses less radiation to do it. Anything that makes it easier and faster for me to perform a procedure, that’s better for patients.”
The new imaging equipment allows physicians to use CT scan and X-ray images for guidance, from the same table. Fluoroscopy images are dynamic, moving images that allow physicians to calculate the depth of a needle insertion and how to move instruments in the body. Dr. Winick explained, “The new equipment is more accurate and the images are sharper. There are many different procedures – complex cancer treatment procedures, arterial and venous studies to improve flow, procedures in the digestive tract, fixing fractures in the back – that we can perform because of the increased detail provided by the state-of-the-art imaging equipment .”
Interventional Radiology Procedures
Interventional radiologists use various imaging techniques to perform the following procedures.
  • Destroying cancerous tumors by heat or freezing techniques
  • Blocking blood vessels to cut off blood to a tumor or arrest a hemorrhage
  • Dissolving blood clots to treat or prevent stroke or deep-vein thrombosis
  • Clearing a carotid artery and installing a stent to prevent stroke
  • Placing a feeding tube into the stomach of a person who is not able to eat
  • Inserting a small needle into the breast or other tissue to obtain tissue for a biopsy to diagnose cancer
  • Directing a catheter into a vein to provide nutrition or hemodialysis 
  • Delivering anticancer medications directly to a tumor

Boomers and Beyond: Healthy Living at Any Age

To celebrate the Baby Boomer generation and beyond, Fauquier Hospital will hold a special Healthy Living Expo just for those 50 and older. Highlights include a fitness exhibition featuring yoga, Tai Chi and

Zumba Gold; cooking demos; several seminars – including one on websites you can trust; and lots of health screenings and informational opportunities.

The festivities will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 12 noon on Saturday, April 27, in the conference area of the hospital on the first floor. Pre-register for the Healthy Living Expo to be entered into a drawing for an iPad. Door prizes will be given away throughout the morning, including a grand prize fitness package: a three-month membership to the Fauquier Health Wellness Center, personal trainer sessions, a massage session and a consultation with a nutritionist.

Healthy Living Seminars

• Integrative Medicine, with Dr. Joseph David: 9:30 a.m.

• Memory Loss, with Dr. Kristin Williams, neurologist: 11 a.m.

• Wired: Internet Sites You Can Trust and Top 10 Apps for Your iPad: 9 a.m. to 12 noon

FREE Health Screenings

• Blood Pressure

• Senior Fitness Assessment

• Flexibility

• Bone Density

• Varicose Vein and Leg Pain Screening

Community Resources

Almost two dozen community organizations serving seniors will be on hand as well. Attendees who bring a list of their medications can have a pharmacist review them for potential interactions. Bring your questions about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Alzheimer’s, stroke, diabetes, COPD, congestive heart failure, fitness and nutrition, and physical therapy. Health system and community experts will be available to help.


• Cooking Demo – Some great ideas for healthy, delicious meals

• Senior Fitness – featuring yoga, Tai Chi and Zumba Gold

• Chair Massage

Pre-register for the Healthy Living Expo to be entered into a drawing for an iPad. To pre-register, call 540-316-3588.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fauquier Health Pursues Partnership with LifePoint Hospitals

Some exciting news for Fauquier Health and our community today! Take a minute to read our news release about our new partnership with LifePoint Hospitals.

The Fauquier Health Board of Directors today announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form a joint venture with LifePoint Hospitals®, a leading hospital company focused on providing quality healthcare close to home. The proposed partnership offers many potential benefits to Fauquier Health and the communities it serves by providing resources and support that will allow Fauquier Health to expand and enhance its services, invest in its facilities and new technology, and improve its efforts to recruit and retain needed physicians.

“This proposed joint venture with LifePoint is a very exciting development for our hospital and community,” said Marshall Doeller, chairman of the Fauquier Health board. “By partnering with LifePoint, Fauquier Health has an opportunity to maintain local ownership and an equal voice in the governance of our hospital and also gain new financial, operational and clinical resources that will help us better serve our communities and grow and prosper into the future. We are pleased that LifePoint recognizes the value of patient-centered care, and will continue to support our very special culture.”

The MOU is a non-binding agreement that authorizes Fauquier Health and LifePoint to move forward with the necessary steps to pursue the proposed joint venture. Following due diligence and a negotiation process, which will take place over the next few months, the parties would enter into a definitive agreement. The agreement would then be subject to review by the Attorney General of Virginia before being finalized.

Under the terms of the proposed partnership, Fauquier Health and LifePoint would share ownership and governance of the hospital, with LifePoint obtaining the majority ownership interest. Governance would be shared equally between Fauquier Health and LifePoint, preserving the community’s input into the strategic direction of the hospital and health system.

“LifePoint is delighted to have been chosen as a joint venture partner for Fauquier Health,” said LifePoint Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III. “Fauquier is a great

hospital with a demonstrated commitment to its patients, employees and physicians. We look forward to exploring this potential partnership further and to examining how we can collaborate to further strengthen Fauquier Health and advance healthcare throughout this region.”

The retained assets and proceeds from the transaction would eliminate Fauquier Health’s debt and allow for the development of a charitable foundation that would support crucial community health needs. Also, the new joint venture would become a tax-paying organization, providing an important source of new tax revenue to support the local economy.

“After an exhaustive search process by our board, LifePoint stood out as the ideal partner for Fauquier Health,” said Rodger Baker, Fauquier Health President and CEO. “LifePoint shares our commitment to improving the health and well-being of our community, and is dedicated to ensuring that Fauquier Health remains an excellent place to work and come for care.”

LifePoint has an established presence in Virginia. The company owns five hospitals in the Commonwealth: Clinch Valley Medical Center in Richlands, Danville Regional Medical Center in Danville, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville, Twin County Regional Healthcare in Galax (a Duke LifePoint hospital), and Wythe County Community Hospital in Wytheville.

LifePoint Hospitals is a leading hospital company focused on providing quality healthcare services close to home. Through its subsidiaries, LifePoint operates 57 hospital campuses in 20 states. With a mission of “Making Communities Healthier®,” LifePoint is the sole community hospital provider in the majority of the communities it serves. More information about the Company, which is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, can be found on its website,