As the clock struck midnight last night, Parkridge Health System CEO Darrell Moore showed up at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn., to perform his first official task as the rural hospital's new executive:
Hand out doughnuts to all the staff working the night shift.
The gesture is just the latest in a series of meet-and-greets Moore and other Parkridge officials have been busy with nearly every day since HCA Healthcare, Parkridge's parent company, announced in January that it would purchase the 70-bed hospital back from Franklin, Tenn.-based Capella Healthcare.
Moore's calendar has since been packed with meetings with everyone from medical leadership to the local Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club.
"We want to have a strong presence in the community, knowing there's a 25-mile difference between [Chattanooga] and Jasper," Moore said. "We need to establish our presence there and work closely with them."
Grandview is now the fifth hospital in the Parkridge Health System and extends Parkridge's reach as a regional provider. A decade ago, the rural hospital was part of Parkridge's parent company, HCA Healthcare, before the corporation sold it in 2005.
Terms of Grandview's sale back to HCA have not been disclosed.
Parkridge has maintained relationships with Grandview even after Capella purchased the facility, officials have said. Parkridge physicians already practice there, and Grandview patients are often referred to Parkridge services.
So far, Moore said, the HCA system has been met with a "100 percent positive" reaction from the local community.
"People are very excited about us coming out there and reinvesting in the community," Moore said. "Everyone has overwhelmingly embraced us -- from the business community as well as the employees and medical staff."
Moore said "virtually all" of Grandview's 250 employees will be retained by Parkridge, and that employees and management staff will remain intact, as well. Parkridge is aiming for a "seamless transition," the CEO said.
But there is one big change ahead. In several months, Parkridge officials plan to unveil a new name and new branding for the Jasper hospital.
Until then, Grandview's name will stay the same -- with the added notation that it's a "facility of Parkridge Health System."
In the transaction, Parkridge will also acquire a medical office near the hospital, along with the Mountainview Treatment Center, a 20-bed psychiatric in-patient hospital.
Contact staff writer Kate Harrison at kharrison@times freepress.com or 423-757-6673.