Hospital’s name changes; but no change in owners 5/19/2015

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hospital’s name changes; but no change in owners

By Rita Howell
Announcement was made Monday that Tri-Lakes Medical Center will now be known as Merit Health Batesville, according to Missy Hopkins, spokesman for the hospital’s owners, Community Health Systems.

The name change is in conjunction with the hospital’s inclusion in a statewide health network made up of 12 hospitals affiliated with Community Health Systems.

Tennessee-based CHS bought Tri-Lakes in 2014. This week’s name change does not indicate a change in ownership, Hopkins said.

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The new name was evident Monday morning when a receptionist answered the hospital’s phone with “Merit Health Batesville.”

“Merit Health Batesville is proud to become a part of a statewide health system that strengthens our commitment to providing quality and accessible health care throughout Panola County and surrounding areas,” hospital CEO Travis Sisson said.

Through their affiliation with Merit Health, hospitals in the network will be able to share resources, expand services and improve access to care, according to a news release from the hospital.

In addition to Tri-Lakes, the  Merit Health network in Mississippi includes: Biloxi Regional Medical Center, Gilmore Memorial Regional Medical Center (Amory), Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center (Clarksdale), Central Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson), Madison River Oaks Medical Center (Canton), River Oaks Hospital (Flowood), Wesley Medical Center (Hattiesburg), Crossgates River Oaks Hospital (Brandon), Natchez Community Hospital, River Region Health Systems (Vicksburg) and Woman’s Hospital (Flowood). All are now identified with the name Merit Health.

Hospital History
Tri-Lakes Medical Center is a 112-bed hospital opened in 2001. It was jointly-owned by the city and county until November, 2005 when it was sold to a non-profit, 501 3c corporation that had been formed by a former administrator. After undergoing financial problems that resulted in criminal investigations and bankruptcy, the facility was sold to Alliance Health Partners, a company formed by local physicians Mike Havens, Raymon Rosenkrans, Billy Haire, Lee Linder, R.C. Purohit, and Dr. Tom Crowson of Meridian and Greg Cantrell.

In 2011 Hospital Management Associates acquired a controlling interest in Alliance Health Partners. In January, 2014 the hospital was sold to Community Health Systems.
John Howell contributed to this story.