The merger between Bladen County Hospital and Cape Fear Valley Health System got the next stamp of approval it needed from the Bladen County Commissioners on Tuesday night and from CFVHS Board of Trustees on Wednesday night. Both boards voted unanimously in favor of the merger.
The estimated date of the merger is June 1.
After a 30 minute closed session Tuesday evening for a consultation with County Attorney Leslie Johnson and BCH Attorney John Crill, the Bladen County commissioners returned to open session and voted unanimously to approve the merger.
The merger agreement is a five-year lease to begin June 1 with an option to purchase BCH at a later date. CFV will assume all debts and liabilities of BCH and pay the county $1 million per year to be designated for capital improvements and will also pay an additional $500,000 per year to be used for new equipment.
“Its an exciting time for us,” said BCH CEO David Masterson.
He said BCH is preparing for the next phase of the merger. Masterson is preparing for a series of meetings in the coming weeks with CFV staff and management to establish a timeline for the merging of various functions at BCH with CFV.
Bladen commissioners also voted unanimously to accept the retired BCH employees into the County health plan. Masterson said the BCH retirees will be guaranteed continuing medical coverage just as any other county retiree receives at this time.
“Now we have to work out the details of when the retirees will transition over,” said Masterson.
CFV CEO Mike Nagowski said the target date of June 1 is very achievable.
“Now all the hard work starts. We have to begin integrating the employees of Bladen County Hospital. All the employees of Bladen County Hospital will be offered employment at Cape Fear Valley Hosp-ital,” said Nag-owski.
CFV is now in the process of adding BCH emp-loyees to the payroll system and educating them on the management structure of CFV.
Nagowski said he and his management team have been impressed with BCH throughout the merger process.
“We’ve been impressed with the hospital and impressed with the medical staff. David Masterson fought hard to see that there will be a hospital in your community,” said Nagowski. “We’re very excited about this relationship.
Nagowski said the BCH name will not change. A new logo will be designed which will incorporate the CFV logo of a sun and lake and the addition of Cape Fear Valley to the sign. Nagowski said this would be consistent with other outreach clinics and properties held by CFV.