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A Letter to the Community

Community news | Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Contact: Teratia Welch

Dear Community,

It has been a busy start to the year for Berger Health System, our Board of Governors, and for our City and County elected officials. We have worked extensively to identify the long-term needs for Berger, the community, and for local healthcare. Our partnership journey with OhioHealth continues to be a major focus. The timing is right to reflect on the work that got us here and the work that lies ahead.

Our effort to ensure local healthcare remains vibrant is the culmination of a process originally started in 2013. For nearly 18 months, we studied the regional market, competitors, peer organizations, and the healthcare industry. We actively searched for solutions to the challenges we were facing and those we anticipated in the future. Based on this research, we determined we could do more with a single, well-positioned strategic partner. So, in April 2014, we launched a public request for proposal (RFP) process to identify the best strategic partner for Berger and our community.

Upon completing a detailed review and analysis of the RFP responses, OhioHealth was chosen as Berger’s partner, effective January 1, 2015. While we have accomplished much through this partnership, we have quickly reached the limits of what can be gained due to our current, governmental structure.

This is why, last year, a group of community leaders asked for Circleville voter approval to change Berger’s ownership structure. Thanks to your support, this ballot measure passed by an overwhelming majority on November 7, 2017. As a result, Berger now has the flexibility to grow, evolve, and operate within a larger health system.

Since the first of the year, a work group representing Pickaway County citizens, City and County government, and Berger was formed. The group has made site visits to other community hospitals that have become part of OhioHealth. At these site visits, private citizens, board members, and elected officials shared with our group the lessons they have learned while becoming part of OhioHealth. After extensive meetings, countless hours, and much discussion, our work group developed an aligned perspective on what is needed to retain vibrant, local healthcare for years to come.

Recently, we shared this perspective with OhioHealth, officially starting negotiations for Berger to become part of the OhioHealth system. The negotiations are expected to continue into the fall.

Just as we have done since 2013, we will share updates as soon as we can. You can go to the special website created for this partnership journey to learn more www.strongerberger.org or you can always reach me at
tim.colburn@bergerhealth.com.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Berger Health System. We are excited about the future of local healthcare, and we look forward to sharing more soon.
Tim Colburn
Berger Health System
President and CEO
tim.colburn@bergerhealth.com

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