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Newton Medical to join Piedmont Healthcare system

Newton Medical Center will formally become a subsidiary of Piedmont Healthcare on Oct. 1.

The partnership of Newton Medical Center and Piedmont Healthcare moved a step closer to completion Thursday as the two entities announced they have approved the detailed terms of the partnership.

“Because of Piedmont’s reputation, we have been anticipating this affiliation for months,” said Jim Weadick, CEO of Newton Medical Center, in a statement. “Their manner of placing safe patient care, concern for their personnel, and caring for the community where they serve is compatible with ours."

"The high quality of specialists and services they provide is a great opportunity for our community," he continued. "We’re excited about what this means for our employees and patients.”

According to the statement, the relationship will involve a long-term lease of assets from Newton County Hospital Authority. Throughout the next 90-120 days, regulatory approvals will be pursued and public hearings will be held prior to the signing of definitive agreements to complete the partnership.

“Newton has demonstrated a dedication to high-quality, patient-centered care,” said Kevin Brown, President and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare. “They will be a great partner, and we look forward to this collaborative journey to expand serving our local communities.”

Newton Medical Center announced it was seeking an equity partner in September, and made the proposal with Piedmont Healthcare public in January.

The Newton General Hospital Authority was created in February 1952 and the hospital was opened in 1954 with 36 beds. Newton Medical Center is now a 97-bed medical facility serving Covington and the surrounding areas.

Piedmont Healthcare, a not-for-profit organization, is the parent company of five hospitals, two employed physician groups, and Piedmont Healthcare Foundation, the philanthropic entity for private fundraising initiatives. Piedmont Healthcare also includes the Piedmont Clinic, a physician network with more than 1000 members.

In September, Rockdale Medical Center formalized a partnership and clinical affiliation with Piedmont Healthcare.

Rockdale Medical Center is a 138-bed acute-care hospital founded in 1954 and purchased by LifePoint Hospitals in 2009. Since the purchase of RMC, LifePoint has invested about $34 million in capital and paid more than $2 million in property taxes to local governments since RMC moved from non-profit to for-profit status.

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