Northern Neck hospital to join Bon Secours Virginia

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Rappahannock General Hospital in Kilmarnock plans to join Bon Secours Virginia Health System.

The nonprofit organizations have signed a letter of intent, which, subject to applicable approvals, will allow Rappahannock General, its medical group and foundation to become part of Bon Secours, which has four hospitals in the Richmond area and three in Hampton Roads.

James M. Holmes Jr., president and CEO of Rappahannock General, says the move is a “big positive” for the hospital. By joining Bon Secours, the hospital will be able to better serve the area’s older population. According to the 2010 census, the median age in Lancaster County, where Kilmarnock is located, was 54.1, compared with 37.5 in Virginia and 37.2 in the United States.

“We’ve been trying to recruit orthopedic surgery here for about three or four years now, and we end up competing with the Richmond market, and because of our Medicare population … the physicians can’t generate the dollars here that they can generate in Richmond,” Holmes says, citing one of the issues the hospital faces. “So … we have to go out and hire a full-time doc because you’re not going to be able to get them here on a part-time basis.”

Two years ago, Rappahannock General signed a clinical affiliation agreement with Bon Secours, which allowed the hospital to remain independent but enhance its services.

“When we went through the process, we felt like their culture matched ours [so] that we felt comfortable working with them,” Holmes says. “So we signed that [agreement] back in 2012 with the idea that the affiliation would go further over a period of time.”

Since the affiliation began, Rappahannock General has added services like neurology, cardiology and oncology. “Becoming part of their system will open the door for more of those services,” Holmes says.

Rappahannock General is licensed for 76 beds and employs about 350 people. The hospital, established in 1977, serves the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. It provides inpatient services like acute care as well as outpatient programs such as home health and physical therapy.

The parent organization, Rappahannock Health System, includes the hospital, Chesapeake Medical Group and Rappahannock General Hospital Foundation. It employs almost 500 people, including 24 physicians.

Bon Secours Virginia is the fourth-largest health system in the state. The organization is part of Marriottsville, Md.-based Bon Secours Health System. It employs almost 12,000 people, including more than 7,000 in Richmond and 4,000 in Hampton Roads.

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