Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Inc. announced on Aug. 1 that it finalized the purchase of the Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg and its associated clinics and home health operations in Floyd, Johnson and Magoffin counties.

“We are excited that the Highlands team is now a part of the ARH system and our long-term plans for healthcare in eastern Kentucky,” ARH President/CEO Joe Grossman said in a statement. “As a member of our ARH system, Highlands will continue to provide excellent care while benefiting from the collective stability and strength a multi-hospital system such as ARH can offer. ARH is committed to providing our patients an unparalleled experience as the most trusted home for healthcare. To do this, we continue to build upon the passion and dedication of our talented staff and the unmatched quality of the care we provide.”

ARH assumed ownership and operations of the facilities at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1. 

The 192-bed Highlands will operate under the new name Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center, and will become the 13th member of the ARH system, which serves communities throughout southeastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia.

ARH Director of Corporate Projects Trena Hall, whose career with ARH has spanned 41 years in multiple leadership roles and who has served as the transition officer for the purchase of Highlands, was named the interim community CEO for Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center.

The two hospitals announced this merger in Sept. 2017, entering into a letter of intent to merge Highlands and its outpatient centers in Floyd, Johnson, Martin and Magoffin counties into the ARH hospital system. 

Highlands has operated in Floyd County for about 46 years. 

ARH operates 13 hospitals in Eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, including two others in Floyd County.

The organization took over operations of Saint Joseph Martin hospital in Martin last July, creating ARH Our Lady of the Way, and it also operates McDowell ARH in McDowell. 

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