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Halifax Regional, Sentara complete, sign agreement

The merger between Halifax Regional Health System and Sentara Healthcare is now a done deal, following approval last Monday by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Both parties signed off on the deal that same day, according to Halifax Regional Health System CEO Chris Lumsden, who termed the deal a “member substitution,” rather than a merger.

“We were able to close on July 1, which was the date we expected several months ago,” said Lumsden on Friday.

It’s not a purchase agreement, and no money changed hands, according to Lumsden, rather it was a commitment on the part of Sentara for investment of $115 million in capital over the next 10 years.

“We’ll keep our structure intact for the most part, and we’ll maintain our local board, with three Sentara members,” explained Lumsden. “Sentara will have several reserve powers going forward which is very typical.”

Sentara will invest no less than $4 million a year for 10 years toward routine capital expenditures and an average of $7.5 million a year for 10 years toward strategic capital expenditures, such as construction of a medical office building, additions to or construction of a nursing home or clinical service, Lumsden continued.

“The expectation would be over 10 years to spend those dollars in investments at Halifax Regional,” noted the CEO. “We’ll keep Halifax Regional intact, and Sentara will be part of our branding.”

Sentara officials will be at Halifax Regional Hospital July 16 to sign a proclamation signifying the merger, Lumsden explained.

“We’re real pleased,” he concluded.  “We signed the agreement two months ago, and part of the approval process requires that the attorney general sign off on the agreement. He did, and that allowed us to move forward.

“We look forward to working with Sentara going forward.”

Representatives from Halifax Regional Health System and Sentara Healthcare announced the merger in October with a “due diligence” phase of the merger completed in the ensuing months.

The merger does not affect operations at auxiliary facilities such as The Woodview, Seasons at the Woodview and Volens Family Practice, according to Halifax Regional Health System officials.

The merged health system will maintain its relationships with Centra Healthcare of Lynchburg and Duke University Medical Center.