Health Quest adds Sharon Hospital in Connecticut to group

By Ryan Deffenbaugh

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Health Quest, an operator of three hospitals in the Mid-Hudson Valley, has crossed the state border and added Sharon Hospital in Connecticut to its group.

The company announced on Sept. 15 that it would take over as sole operator of the 78-bed facility in Sharon, a Litchfield County town of about 3,000 people. The hospital is about two miles from the Dutchess County border in New York.

The hospital, which became the state’s only for-profit hospital in 2002, provides emergency, orthopedics, cardiac and geriatric behavioral medicine, as well as obstetrics and general surgery services.

“This offers tremendous benefits to our patients,” said Peter Cordeau, CEO of Sharon Hospital, in a statement distributed by Health Quest. “They will now have seamless access to a full spectrum of services – from expert oncology and cardiology care to innovative neurology services and trained trauma surgeons.”

Sharon Hospital will be converted to a nonprofit hospital once Health Quest completes the acquisition, according to Health Quest spokesperson John Nelson.

Sharon Hospital is part of Essent Healthcare of Connecticut, an affiliate of Tennessee-based RCCH HealthCare Partners. RCHH Healthcare Partners was formed in May with the merger of RegionalCare Hospital Partners Inc. and Capella Healthcare Inc., both privately owned health care providers headquartered in Tennessee. Sharon Hospital was its lone operation in Connecticut and the Northeast.

Pending completion of a regulatory review by the state, the transaction is expected to be finalized in mid-2017. Nelson said the financials of the deal could not be disclosed, as Health Quest is still preparing its certificate of need to Connecticut to take over the hospital’s operation.

The Foundation for Community Health, a nonprofit philanthropic organization based in Sharon, helped initiate talks between Health Quest and Essent. The foundation will assist in the transition process as well, according to Health Quest.

“Sharon Hospital is a critical component of our local health care system and its future,” Nancy Heaton, CEO of the Foundation for Community Health, said in a statement. “In getting to know Health Quest, the board and staff of the foundation have been continually impressed with their commitment to providing quality care and community-based services.”

Health Quest operates Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck and Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel. The nonprofit hospital operator also includes 265 affiliated health care providers through the Health Quest Medical Practice physician group in Dutchess, Ulster and Putnam counties. Health Quest operates two urgent care locations and is affiliated with the Thompson House, a 100-bed skilled nursing facility on the Northern Dutchess Hospital campus, an accredited home care service and The Heart Center, a provider of cardiology services throughout the region.

In January, Health Quest completed a $47 million, three-floor addition to Northern Dutchess Hospital. Earlier in September, the nonprofit broke ground on a $466 million patient pavilion for Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

“Sharon Hospital shares a strong cultural fit and strategic vision with our system,” Health Quest President Robert Friedberg said. “Eastern Dutchess and western Connecticut residents will see improved quality through better coordination of care and improved access to the specialists within our excellent medical staff and an integrated electronic medical record system.”

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About the author

Ryan Deffenbaugh covers energy, education, food and beverage and the Sound Shore for the Westchester County Business Journal. He previously worked for Westchester Magazine and The Citizen daily newspaper (Auburn, N.Y.). He started with the Westchester County Business Journal in March 2016.

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