ATHENS, Ohio – OhioHealth and O’Bleness Health System announced today that they have signed a membership agreement that will make O’Bleness a member of the OhioHealth system, pending notice to the Ohio Attorney General.
The OhioHealth board approved the terms of the membership on October 15 and the Sheltering Arms Foundation Board, which is the formal name of the O’Bleness board of directors, adopted the agreement November 6.
“We’re excited to have O’Bleness as an official member of the OhioHealth family,” said Dave Blom, president and chief executive officer of OhioHealth. “Welcoming O’Bleness into our family allows us to build on all the good that we’ve done together and focus on the future to ensure that O’Bleness thrives and continues to meet the healthcare needs of southeast Ohio.”
“As the board considered the agreement, we had no doubts that OhioHealth could best help us serve this community,” said Susan Quinn, OD, chair of O’Bleness’ board of directors. “We knew that in order to sustain a local system of care we needed a strong partner, one with similar goals and a similar commitment to serving our area.”
As a “full member,” OhioHealth will become the parent organization of O’Bleness Health System, with access to the full complement of clinical expertise, financial resources and logistical support that a large healthcare system can provide. O’Bleness will become OhioHealth’s ninth full member hospital.
The membership agreement marks the end of a due diligence process that began in June in which both organizations took an in-depth look at each other’s finances, records and operations. It also follows a three-year management agreement during which time OhioHealth had six leadership positions on the management team at O’Bleness, three of which were on the senior leadership team, as well as representation on the O’Bleness board of directors.
OhioHealth has strong ties to communities in southeast Ohio that complement its relationship with O’Bleness. This includes a long standing partnership with Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, which OhioHealth has partnered with to train generations of medical students, interns and residents during the last 35 years. OhioHealth is also the official healthcare provider for Ohio University Athletics and operates OhioHealth Doctors Hospital Nelsonville north of Athens.