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U.Va. nears ownership of hospital

The University of Virginia Medical Center will invest more than $55 million over the next 10 years to upgrade the Culpeper Regional Health System, which includes Culpeper Regional Hospital.

The U.Va. Medical Center made the announcement during a public hearing, preceding its assumption of control of the Culpeper hospital and its associated heath system.

“This transaction will assure that CRH thrives far into the future, being able to provide critical, quality health care services in a fast-changing health care environment,” said Charles Crist, chairman of the CRH Board of Trustees. “This will also ensure our ability to attract and retain well-trained health care professionals to serve the local community.”

As part of the agreement three Culpeper citizens—Charlie Barrell, Sharon Clark and Crist, along with Dr. Bob Rosen, president of the medical staff (an ex-officio member)—will serve on the new board of trustees and will have a “strong voice” in hospital management.

Clarissa Berry will also serve as a nonvoting member.

The newly formed Culpeper Wellness Foundation will govern other branches of the Culpeper Regional Health System, including the Powell Wellness Center, the Free Clinic of Culpeper, the hospital auxiliary and the old hospital foundation.

The U.Va. Medical Center, which has already spent $25 million to upgrade CRH facilities, will invest another $45 million over the next decade to improve existing facilities and help grow the hospital and its components.

Another $5 million will be spent to expand the highly successful Powell Wellness Center, with $500,000 being invested annually for 10 years to boost other community health-services projects.

The U.Va. Medical Center, which has held a 49 percent share of Culpeper’s hospital since 2009, announced in late February that it would assume majority control of the local health care system later this year.

Terms of that agreement were not disclosed until this week.

The agreement is subject to approval by the state attorney general. If granted, the two hospital systems could be one within 90 days.

“U.Va. and CRH have been good partners and will be better partners in the future. CRH will remain a community hospital focused on its hometown region,” said Dr. Richard P. Shannon, U.Va.’s executive vice president for health affairs.

“This is an exciting next step in our evolution as we continue our focus on providing safe, quality care to people in the communities we serve. Everyone at U.Va. and CRH remains committed to being responsive to the Culpeper community and will ensure a strong local voice in CRH’s future.”

Donnie Johnston: