ASHLAND, Ore. — A vote months in the making took place Tuesday night at the Ashland city council meeting. City council is the forth and final party involved in an agreement to merge Ashland Community Hospital with Asante.
“We’ve done the best we can to secure our investment and right now our investment is in a general hospital and we want to keep that,” said Ashland city councilor Carol Voisin.
Ashland Community Hospital will be turned over to Asante as part of an agreement to keep it a general hospital for fifteen years. As part of the agreement, ten million dollars will in capitol improvements will also be made to the hospital.
“We are able to bring some resources to the table, we can help centralize some services that it has been very difficult for small hospitals to provide by themselves,” said Asante CEO, Roy Vineyard
All four parties involved voted unanimously in favor of the merger and officials at Ashland Community Hospital think it provides opportunities for both the hospital and the community.
“We feel that we’re going to have a lot of energy, opportunities to be efficient and effective delivery of healthcare services for our community,” said Anne Golden with Ashland Community Hospital.
Ashland Community Hospital said patients and community members won’t see any major changes right away.
“That’s probably in the next two or three years but for now it’s business as usual,” said Golden.
Vineyard says the agreement may be for fifteen years, but they are approaching it as a long term commitment.
“We’re looking forward, not just as a fifteen year agreement, we don’t look at this as the first three years and the next twelve years, we really are looking at this in the long term,” said Vineyard.