April 30, 1999

VUMC, Williamson Medical Center join forces

VUMC, Williamson Medical Center join forces

Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Williamson County Hospital District intend to create a new, not-for-profit company for the operation of 140-bed Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, VUMC officials say.

If the agreement to create the company receives the necessary governing body approval, VUMC will contribute $11 million to establish the new operating company. Williamson County Hospital District would have a 51 percent interest in the new company, and Vanderbilt would have a 49 percent interest. The new company would also refinance the existing bonds that the county holds on Williamson Medical Center.

The new company would have a four to six member operating board, with Williamson County Hospital District and Vanderbilt each appointing half the members.

"Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Williamson Medical Center have missions that are aligned," said James Word, vice president for Network and Business Development at VUMC, who helped work out the proposed agreement.

"This intended company creates a long-term partnership with an important health care system, which will help us fulfill our long-term academic and health care missions," said Norman B. Urmy, executive vice president for Clinical Affairs at VUMC.

Urmy also noted that the proposed agreement could further VUMC's academic programs by providing future training sites and also open another avenue for clinical research.

"Clearly this transaction is not a sale of our hospital," said Williamson County Executive Clint Callicott, who is also a member of the Williamson Medical Center Board of Trustees. "The operating partnership proposed through debt and asset assumption will benefit both our county as well as Vanderbilt. But the county will continue to own all the current land and buildings used by the hospital. "