Officials, public gather to celebrate Portage, LifePoint agreement

HANCOCK – The joint venture between Portage Health and Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Hospitals was finalized Monday, and to celebrate the partnership, officials with both companies got together in the Portage Health conference room that evening.

Jim Bogan, Portage Health CEO and president, began by introducing representatives of each organization involved with the nearly two-year-long process. He also thanked the members of the board of directors for their efforts in finding an organization with which to partner.

“We cannot thank the board enough,” he said.

Speaking next was Steve Zutter, chairman of the Portage Health Board of Directors, who said one of the reasons for partnering with LifePoint was to strengthen Portage Health at a time when so much is happening in the health care industry.

“The velocity of change has been enormous,” he said.

Before making the decision to partner with LifePoint, Zutter said board members and hospital administration did their “due diligence” and looked into several other organizations.

“We have met with some of the best minds in health care,” he said. “We did our homework.”

Jeff Seraphine, CEO of the LifePoint eastern division, said he’s glad the joint venture with Portage Health is finally complete.

“This is something we have anticipated for a long time,” he said. “Our mission is to make this community healthy.”

Bill Carpenter, LifePoint chairman and CEO, said he appreciates that Portage Health officials chose them as a partner.

“We will work hard to build on the trust you put in us,” he said. “You have a great community hospital.”

To close the comments, Bogan said he is thankful for the good comments from the community for the partnership.

“We look for ongoing support from the community,” he said.