Wellmont Health System, Mountain States Health Alliance Name Members of Integration Council

As Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance proceed with plans for integrating the two organizations, they have selected members of a committee that will help direct this multi-tiered process.

The two not-for-profit companies announced on Thursday, April 2, that they have agreed to explore the creation of a new, integrated and locally governed health system. The systems have now entered a due diligence period and are working to develop a definitive agreement.

This agreement will be followed by a process to obtain, among other regulatory requirements, Tennessee and Virginia approvals of the merger, which will likely take through the end of 2015.

One of the first elements of the process is the selection of an integration council. This group of executive and physician leaders is the working group charged with overseeing pre-merger planning. The integration council will have an equal number of representatives from Wellmont and Mountain States and make its recommendations to the joint board task force, which is the governing group that will consist of leaders from each health system.

The Wellmont council members are:

  • Eric Deaton, executive vice president and chief operating officer
  • Alice Pope, executive vice president and chief financial officer
  • Todd Norris, senior vice president for system advancement
  • Gary Miller, senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel
  • Dr. Dale Sargent, system medical director for hospitalist services and former chief medical officer

Wellmont still has one physician slot to fill.

The Mountain States council members are:

  • Marvin Eichorn, executive vice president and chief operating officer
  • Dr. Morris Seligman, executive vice president and chief medical officer
  • Lynn Krutak, senior vice president and chief financial officer
  • Tony Keck, senior vice president and chief development officer
  • Tim Belisle, senior vice president and general counsel
  • Dr. Sandra Brooks, a system board member and vice president of Watauga Pathology Associates

“We are excited to be taking the first steps in the integration planning process with our counterparts at Wellmont,” said Alan Levine, Mountain States’ president and CEO. “Both organizations have assembled a team of talented and knowledgeable leaders, and their focus is now on putting the pieces in place for a definitive agreement.”

“These are outstanding members of our organizations, and they will play an important role in developing a plan for integration of the new health system that will further advance the quality of care in our region,” said Bart Hove, Wellmont’s president and CEO. “These are exciting times for Wellmont, but we still have much work to complete in the process of planning how the organizations will integrate, once we obtain all legal clearances. But we are pleased to be making tremendous progress as we move forward on this beneficial initiative.”

Among other tasks, the council will conduct a cultural assessment and ensure a proper due diligence is conducted. The council will also coordinate the process for the attainment of the certificate of public advantage in Tennessee and similar administrative approval from Virginia.