Twin County Regional Healthcare Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Duke LifePoint Healthcare

October 27, 2011

Galax, Virginia (October 27, 2011)—Twin County Regional Healthcare (TCRH) has taken a new step toward strengthening its ability to provide outstanding, innovative care to patients.  The TCRH Board of Directors has signed a memorandum of understanding to form a partnership to own and operate the hospital with Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals®. 

The partnership, which would combine TCRH’s recognized medical team with Duke LifePoint’s clinical, quality and hospital management expertise, has the potential to significantly advance healthcare services in southwest Virginia. 

“TCRH began exploring our affiliation options more than a year ago, seeking potential partnerships that could help us grow our hospital and expand the services we provide our community,” said TCRH President and CEO Jon D. Applebaum, MHA.  “Duke LifePoint emerged as an ideal partner for TCRH because it shares our dedication to our employees, physicians and community, and to the long-term success of our hospital.  As part of Duke LifePoint, we will have access to the clinical, quality and operational support and resources we need to weather the changing healthcare environment, recruit new physicians to our facility, offer additional opportunities for employees, better serve our community and strengthen our hospital for the future.”

Under the terms of the proposed transaction, TCRH and Duke LifePoint would share ownership and governance of the hospital. TCRH would retain a 20% ownership interest in the hospital and Duke LifePoint would have an 80% ownership interest. Governance would be equally shared between TCRH and Duke LifePoint, giving the community a long-term voice in the strategic direction of the hospital. The retained assets of TCRH and the proceeds from the transaction would eliminate TCRH’s debt, and the remaining assets would be used to create a locally governed charitable foundation to support crucial community needs.

“TCRH has been a critical part of the Twin County community for more than three decades,” said Doug S. Vaught, Chairman of the TCRH Board of Directors. “The Duke LifePoint partnership is exciting because it allows this community to retain an ownership interest in the hospital and have an equal voice in TCRH’s governance and future.  We are eager to explore this partnership further and more closely examine the benefits it can offer our hospital and the future of healthcare in this community.” 

The memorandum of understanding is a non-binding agreement that outlines the terms upon which TCRH and Duke LifePoint may move forward to finalize and close the proposed transaction.  Following due diligence and further negotiation process, which is projected to take 60-90 days, the parties intend to enter into a definitive agreement.  Prior to completion, the transaction will require review by the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia.   

“TCRH is an outstanding hospital known for its quality service and commitment to patients,” said William J. Fulkerson, Jr., MD, Executive Vice President of Duke University Health System.  “It is an ideal addition to the growing Duke LifePoint network. We look forward to working with the board, management team, employees and medical staff to further explore this partnership in the weeks to come and identify new ways to expand healthcare services to serve the needs of residents in this region.”

If the proposed joint venture between TCRH and Duke LifePoint is finalized, TCRH will become the fourth organization to join the Duke LifePoint network.  This year, Duke LifePoint has completed the acquisition of Person Memorial Hospital in Roxboro, North Carolina; signed a definitive agreement to jointly own and operate Maria Parham Medical Center in Henderson, North Carolina; and acquired the North Carolina cardiac catheterization operations of MedCath Partners, LLC, now known as DLP Cardiac Partners.  TCRH would be Duke LifePoint’s first facility in Virginia.

“We are delighted about the opportunity to be TCRH’s strategic partner in serving the healthcare needs of the Twin County community,” said LifePoint Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III.  “Duke LifePoint was created to support community hospitals like TCRH, which is our fourth potential partner and the first in Virginia.  The momentum we have experienced validates the vision we have for Duke LifePoint Healthcare and demonstrates the unique partnership option we offer in today’s healthcare market.”

About Twin County Regional Healthcare
Twin County Regional Hospital (TCRH) is the flagship of the Twin County Regional Healthcare delivery system.  TCRH is located in Galax, Virginia, the center of the Twin Counties of Grayson and Carroll Counties in Southwest Virginia, and is a not-for-profit community hospital.  Centered on the mission “to promote, preserve and restore the health of our community,” emphasizing excellent service, safety, quality and efficiency, TCRH has been the anchor and the region’s leader of healthcare for more than 38 years.  TCRH and its affiliates – including Twin County Family Care Centers (Behavioral Health; Family Practice in Galax & Hillsville; Pediatric Family Care Center; Twin County Ear, Nose & Throat; Twin County Rheumatology, Twin County Surgery and Twin County Urology), Twin County Health Services (The Wellness Center) and the Twin County Regional Healthcare Foundation – continually develop and improve services as well as outreach programs in response to community need based on a foundation of teamwork, compassion and respect for all.  For additional information, please visit http://www.tcrh.org.

About Duke LifePoint Healthcare
Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals® (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and healthcare providers in North Carolina and the surrounding areas. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint’s experience in community-based hospital management and Duke’s world-renowned leadership in clinical service, is strengthening and improving healthcare delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper. For additional information, visit http://www.dukelifepointhealthcare.com.