Jennings American Legion Hospital signs letter of intent to merge with Lafayette General Health

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Lafayette General Health officials released the following statement this Tuesday, in regards with the exploration of a merger with Jennings American Legion Hospital:

Jennings American Legion Hospital (JALH) and Lafayette General Health (LGH) have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to explore a merger, whereby LGH will assume management and operations of JALH. Under the proposed structure, LGH will enter into a multi-year lease of the hospital, its clinics, physical plant and equipment with the local American Legion Post. JALH and LGH began a clinical affiliation in 2016, enhancing economies of scale, sharing of best practices and clinical protocol alignment.

The structure and specifics of the lease/management agreement will be developed during a due diligence process over the next several months. The goal is to finalize documents in the fall of 2020 and execute the arrangement as early as October 1. More details of the merger will be provided as the parties near completion of a formal contract.

The goal of this proposed relationship would be to help Jennings American Legion Hospital remain the hospital of choice in Jefferson Davis Parish, keeping residents close to home while receiving high quality medical services. LGH will be able to provide expanded resources, technology, purchasing power and more access to services. This will enable JALH to deliver care more efficiently and cost-effectively, leading to enhanced patient outcomes, financial stability and long-term viability.

“The partnership with Lafayette General Health opens up tremendous opportunities for continued improvements and growth at Jennings American Legion Hospital,” stated JALH Board Chairman Arthur Matte. “We have a strong, healthy hospital, but healthcare is complex and rapidly changing, and we need a partner that can help us thrive into the future and meet the evolving needs of our community,” continued Matte.

“Lafayette General Health has been a great partner of ours, and we want to continue growing with them and providing local healthcare for generations to come. We are very excited about what a merger with Lafayette General Health means for our patients, employees and the community,” said Jennings American Legion Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dana Williams.

Lafayette General Health anticipates a $6 million investment in technology, infrastructure upgrades and integration as well as physician placement and recruitment. Additional

investments for facility upgrades and capital planning are also in development as the two entities work toward a final agreement.

“Nearly 70 years ago, the American Legion Post 19 established a hospital to meet the needs of its community. They built a terrific foundation for us to build upon,” stated LGH President David L. Callecod, FACHE. “It is our intention to successfully integrate Jennings American Legion Hospital into our health system while at the same time maintaining its rich legacy. We want to work together to make them an even stronger community hospital by growing existing services and adding new ones. As with our partnerships with other hospitals in Acadiana, our goal is always to keep healthcare local and close to home.”

On September 25, Lafayette General Health announced it had signed an LOI to merge with Ochsner Health System. The long-term lease agreement between LGH and JALH would make JALH a subsidiary of LGH. The Ochsner merger calls for a $365 million investment over 10 years and provides significant expansion of clinical services throughout all LGH facilities, of which JALH would be a part.

More information about the proposed merger can be found by visiting www.GrowingLocalCare.org.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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