TRMC, SAMC form alliance

Published 7:48 pm Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Troy Regional Medical Center has entered into a partnership with Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan that will enable TRMC to thrive in today’s health care environment.

Teresa Grimes, TRMC CEO, announced the partnership at TRMC’s 45th anniversary celebration at the hospital Wednesday.

“TRMC is on a journey from good to great,” Grimes said. “TRMC has aligned with a clinical affiliate that shares our vision and our values. We are not just going to survive in the future; we are going to thrive,”

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Grimes said the partnership is not an ownership, management or decision-making venture. The partnership will serve to enhance TRMC’s clinical services and resources as TRMC continues its journey as a strong, thriving community hospital, she said.

Ron Owen, SAMC CEO, said Southeast Alabama Medical Center is proud to be affiliated with TRMC and congratulated the Troy hospital on 45 years of service to its community.

“We are both community-owned, not-for-profit hospitals that exist to serve our patients,” Owen said and added that the partnership will be a rewarding affiliation for both health care facilities.

Owen said SAMC serves 600,000 people in a 65-mile radius of Dothan.

“We have considered Troy a part of our service area for a long time,” he said. “We are glad to formalize it.”

Troy Mayor Jason Reeves said South Alabama Medical Center is a good fit with TRMC and said the city’s new growth will now be in the “Southeast.”

“The City of Troy is dedicated to always having a hospital where families will be protected and well served,” he said.

Reeves congratulated TRMC on 45 years of service to the Troy and Pike County communities and the physicians, nurses, staff members and employees on continuing to provide excellent health care services.

Dr. Paul Dulaney, TRMC chief of staff, said the hospital is fighting through change but, with sound business decisions, it will make it through.

“On the clinical side, we are patient focused,” he said. “We are a functionally and financially solid facility. The core service done here is done well. We do it right and we do it very well.”

Troy Regional Medical Center’s 45th Anniversary was a celebration of the past as well as the present and the future. The hospital was originally Edge Hospital, named for Dr. Oscar N. Edge, who graciously closed his hospital in downtown Troy in order to help pave the way for a Hill Burton hospital to open in Troy. Edge, a visionary, also set up a trust fund for the purpose of making health care available to indigent people.

The Edge Trust Fund is managed by Troy Bank & Trust Company. More than $3 million has been awarded to assist with indigent care at TRMC.

Grimes expressed appreciation to former Mayor Jimmy Lunsford, Mayor Jason Reeves and those who served and continue to serve on the Troy City Council for their commitment to health care.

In 2010, it appeared the Troy hospital might close, but in three days time, the City of Troy took ownership of the hospital in order to ensure quality health care for its citizens.

“Usually [changing ownership] would have taken a year or six months on the fast track, but the mayor and city council did whatever it took to make sure the doors of the hospital stayed open,” Grimes said.

Sherroll Crowe, chair of the Troy Hospital Health Care Authority board of directors, said the hospital had a “tough go” at one time but “ has come along and done well.”

“I don’t use the word ‘great’ a lot but TRMC is a great hospital,” he said. “It is up there with anybody in the state.”

Crowe said TRMC is a business but it is a compassionate business.

“It’s not all about money,” he said. “It’s about meeting the needs of our patients.”

Crowe said there are some services that TRMC can’t render.

“TRMC is not meant to do everything. We know our place. We know that success lies in partnership.”