South Hill hospital to join VCU Health System

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Virginia Commonwealth University Health System is expanding in Southern Virginia.

South Hill-based Community Memorial Healthcenter (CMH) — a hospital with 99 licensed, acute-care beds — will become part of the Richmond-based health system under a deal that is expected to be completed by June 30.

As part of the deal, VCU will invest at least $75 million in CMH, including a new hospital facility, health-care technologies, clinical initiatives and physician recruitment.

The South Hill hospital will be renamed VCU Community Memorial Hospital.

“Both organizations are deeply committed to improving the health of the communities they serve, and we recognized that joining forces with the VCU Health System enhances our ability to fulfill our mission. We are excited about the future of health care for this region,” W. Scott Burnette, president and CEO of CMH, said in a statement.

One of the biggest employers in the South Hill area, CMH has 800 employees. They will join a workforce of about 9,000 at VCU Health System.

Eighty-five physicians representing 30 medical specialties have privileges at CMH.

Under the affiliation agreement, CMH will continue to have a board of directors, with local and VCU Health System appointments.

The VCU Health System already had a presence at CMH through a partnership with the VCU Massey Cancer Center that provides outpatient medical hematology-oncology and radiation oncology in South Hill. In addition, the hospitals collaborated on other clinical and educational services.

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