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July 10--  The rumor mill in Vidalia has it that Navicent Health of Macon is in the process of buying Meadows Regional Medical Center in Vidalia, however, Meadows Health CEO Alan Kent is putting that rumor to bed, but with a caveat.

"Meadows continues to be an independent community hospital and right now there are no focused efforts to sell the hospital and it's not being actively marketed to any buyers.

"On the other hand, you have to think about the long term and about whether some types of partnerships or affiliations might be appropriate down the road, but we are not out marketing the hospital today and people can rest assured that the levels of care we are providing are going to continue and we're going to continue to invest in this community with technology and medical staff development.  Meadows is going to continue to grow in quality, safety and customer service like we have done over the past 20 years," Kent said.

Kent notes that the medical landscape is fluid with acquisitions and mergers going on all the time, but he's confident Meadows will maintain its not-for-profit status, "I don't see Meadows ever becoming a for-profit institution or an investor-owned institution like some have done.  The fact we've been able to invest $100 million in this facility and technology over the last ten years, that we have the board, the medical staff and the employee staff that we have, pretty much insures that Meadows and Vidalia are going to be the hub for healthcare in this area for the foreseeable future, probably the next four to five decades."

Unlike other hospitals in the area, Kent observes that Meadows has never had to ask for local tax support in order to operate, "Our goal is to continue to be good stewards and to do the things we need to do.  If we find there is a structural way that involves a partner to do that later on, it doesn't change the mission and it certainly doesn't change the quality.  People can rest assured this place is going to be here a long, long time."


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