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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Rankin: Change to hospital’s structure not a pre-sale strategy

Mary Washington Hospital officials say that they have no plans to sell the hospital to one of the big hospital chains, and that the recent proposal to alter the way the hospital is governed doesn’t change that.

Fred Rankin, president and CEO of Mary Washington Healthcare

Mary Washington has been a community-based, community-controlled hospital for more than 110 years, said Fred Rankin, president and chief executive. “And we want it to always continue to be,” he said.

Until recently, Fredericksburg was an island in the changing sea of hospital ownership. For more than 100 years, the region had only one hospital, Mary Washington, and was surrounded by hospitals like Mary Washington: small independents.

But that changed when HCA, the nation’s largest hospital chain, arrived in Spotsylvania. In addition, the Sentara chain out of Norfolk has purchased Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge, Novant Health of North Carolina has purchased Prince William Hospital in Manassas, and the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville has acquired Culpeper Regional.

Mary Washington’s board of trustees has no plans to sell, Rankin said this week, but it has the legal authority to do so if it wants to. If that happened, the state would get involved and a public hearing would be held. If approved, any hospital assets that remained after the debts are paid would stay in the community in the control of some sort of charitable foundation.

But the proposal to do away with the hospital’s voting membership doesn’t affect that process, Rankin said.

“It’s immaterial,” he said. “That’s not the reason we’re doing this.”

(A story on the hospital’s proposal is in today’s paper and can be found here.)


  • TestExam

    back around 2001 when i worked for Medicorp. I proposed a 5yr and a 10 year strategic plan for growth and expansion. 5-yr being to open a 100-150 bed acute care + ER facility around thornburg area -or- S-SW of orange county. purpose was to solidify hold of western corridor and develop an integrated, ease-of-access, cost-effective healthcare for the rural west of I-95. 5-yr plan allowed long-term growth potential and land investment for future western commercialism + residential development to invision Medicorp as the next Inova, but for the west and southern regions. 10-yr plan involved merging or buying Culpeper Hosp. and future expansion to at least a trauma-2 to serve further west into Albermarle county to compete with UVA. Overall, both plans involved long-term growth/investment potential for medicorp/mary wash hosp. with real estate opportunities for development and investment.

  • exdoc

    I don’t think Fred R’s statement that something is immaterial necessarily means so; his reputation of upholding his word with folks in the medical community is weak at best…………..

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