KentuckyOne Health and Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) confirmed Tuesday the organizations have signed a Letter of Intent for the exclusive negotiation of the sale of Saint Joseph Martin, KentuckyOne Health announced in a statement.

“This agreement is the next step for the future of health care in the Martin, Kentucky community,” the statement said. “If a definitive agreement is reached, it would establish the continuation of local ownership and operation of this important care facility.”

Saint Joseph Martin has served the people of Floyd County since 1947, delivering care to meet the unique needs of this community with

excellence, quality and compassion, the statement said. By working with Appalachian Regional Healthcare, community partners and care providers in Martin and across Floyd County, KentuckyOne Health believes the vision for health and wellness in this area will continue, the statement said.

“Appalachian Regional Healthcare is a well-known and well-respected leader in health and wellness across Eastern Kentucky. We are pleased to be talking with this organization to guide the future of care for this unique community,” said Kathy Stumbo, president, Saint Joseph Martin. “ARH knows this community and has the experience and insight to continue improvements and investments to support patients, physicians, employees and all in this region.”

Appalachian Regional Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating 11 hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, Appalachian Regional Healthcare is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.

“It is an exciting time for ARH as we continue to expand our services throughout Floyd County with the potential addition of Saint Joseph Martin. Saint Joseph Martin has worked closely with our McDowell ARH Hospital to ensure the residents of Floyd County and surrounding areas have local access to the best in healthcare services. We are pleased that they could soon be a part of the ARH system and our long-term plans for healthcare in eastern Kentucky,” said Joe Grossman, President and CEO of the ARH system. “We look forward to welcoming these employees to the ARH team where they would continue to provide their strong tradition of excellent care while also benefitting from the collective stability and strength of a multi-hospital system such as ARH.“

Appalachian Regional Healthcare was the clear leader in the extensive due-diligence and review period of bids for Saint Joseph Martin, the statement said. They have a vision to maintain current services, employment opportunities and a long-term outlook for investment in quality care performance, clinical and employee development and community outreach which has made this facility so successful and valuable to-date, Kentucky One Health said in the statement. Their knowledge of the critical health needs facing eastern Kentucky also makes them the perfect fit to continue to deliver health and wellness services, the statement said.

“It was a unanimous decision to begin exclusive negotiations with Appalachian Regional Healthcare,” said Jane Chiles, chair, KentuckyOne Health board of directors. “Saint Joseph Martin has a long and important legacy, and we believe that ARH will remain committed to that legacy and continue to deliver much needed care and jobs in the Martin community.”

One legislator voiced support for the potential alignment.

 “I would like to applaud KentuckyOne Health for its commitment to develop a win-win scenario,” said Kentucky Sen. Johnny Ray Turner. “The proposed alignment with Appalachian Regional Healthcare would put Saint Joseph Martin in a unique regional network, ready to respond to the unique medical needs of our region.”

KentuckyOne Health and Appalachian Regional Healthcare will continue their negotiations over the coming months.

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