Growth has been a buzzword for us recently, as the Baptist Memorial Health Care system has merged with Mississippi Baptist Health Systems to form one of the country’s largest health care organizations. And while our combined organization is larger in size and scope, we’re focused on growth in other areas, as well.
As we grow, our facilities will grow in many ways. Combining the resources of two strong organizations will allow us to enhance the care we deliver in our hospitals through better technology, additional services and more doctors. We can also take advantage of the expertise and talent of new team members and share best practices from one hospital with our other facilities.
We want to give our hospitals all the services our communities can support so that our communities can grow, too. Even before this partnership, we had a $2.6 billion economic impact on the communities we serve. Now that we have a greater presence in this region, we can be an even bigger economic force. Year after year, through good times and bad, we have remained a fixture in rural, suburban and urban communities across West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas. That unwavering presence now will extend to central Mississippi.
Another big priority for me is your growth. We have the opportunity to learn from one another, and we will continue to invest in continuing education opportunities in many ways, including through our Baptist College of Health Sciences, the Baptist Management System and our Center for Education and Organizational Development. We will also expand our Baptist Cares initiative to our Mississippi Baptist hospitals, and we will all continue to learn how to put empathy at the center of all we do.
I would like to announce another growth opportunity. Baptist has entered into a new joint venture partnership with LHC Group, a national provider of non-acute health care, that will begin managing our home care and hospice services on June 1. Our home care and hospice locations will still operate using the Baptist brand and logo, and patients will likely not recognize the change. The big difference will be the support and expertise that LHC Group will bring to our home care and hospice services.
LHC Group has nearly 300 home health locations and more than 70 hospice locations. They have an extensive track record of success and will bring the support, knowledge and expertise necessary to further enhance and grow our home care and hospice services. As the health care landscape becomes even more challenging for home care and hospice agencies, it’s wise for us to partner with like-minded organizations like LHC Group.
The Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief and our two satellite grief centers in Midtown Memphis and Jonesboro, Arkansas, are not part of this partnership. We will continue to own and operate all three facilities, and we will continue to employ those team members. Donations to the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation’s bereavement funds will only benefit the Centers for Good Grief.
We will also continue to own the Baptist Reynolds Hospice House building and the Baptist Trinity Home Care and Hospice headquarters on the Baptist Memphis campus, even though the joint venture partnership will manage them. Both facilities will continue to be known as Baptist to our patients and the community.
Donations to the Baptist Foundation’s home care and hospice funds are still vitally important. These contributions will help provide comfort and support to patients and loved ones when a life-limiting illness is no longer manageable at home. Every dollar given to these funds will benefit indigent patients who could not otherwise afford this special kind of care.
LHC Group has a long history of successful partnerships with not-for-profit hospitals and health systems. Combining the resources and wisdom of Baptist with LHC Group will bring a higher level of patient care than either one of us could provide separately.
I will update you more in the future as our partnership more fully develops, but I wanted to make you aware of this new effort taking place in June. Our post-acute service line with home health and hospice remains a vital part of our ability to provide excellent population health into the future. I am excited to enlist the support of LHC Group in these efforts.
I hope you are as excited as I am about our future. Our growth will bring an unprecedented level of service and care to some of the poorest and most medically underserved areas of our country. We have the power to change the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens. And at the same time, we will grow as a team and individually as caregivers. These partnerships are making great organizations even better.