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Lifepoint, Ascension Saint Thomas form joint venture

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Lifepoint Health and Ascension Saint Thomas are entering a joint venture, in which the two organizations will jointly own Highpoint Health, a four-hospital system owned by Lifepoint.

Highpoint includes Sumner Regional Medical Center and Sumner Station in Gallatin, Tenn., Trousdale Medical Center in Hartsville, Riverview Regional Medical Center in Carthage and more than 15 affiliated clinics and care sites.

The joint venture aims to combine the health systems' clinical expertise, best practices and providers to improve access to clinical programs and specialty care. 

The hospitals and care sites included in the joint venture will be co-branded with Ascension Saint Thomas and will be majority-owned and operated by Lifepoint. Each hospital's current leadership team will remain in place, with no significant changes expected for employees.

The Highpoint hospitals will be rebranded as Highpoint Health–Sumner, Highpoint Health–Trousdale and Highpoint Health–Riverview.

The partnership is the second joint venture for the two health systems. Lifepoint and Ascension Saint Thomas, part of St. Louis-based Ascension, also jointly own Ascension Saint Thomas Rehabilitation Hospital in Nashville.

"We are looking forward to rolling up our sleeves together to tackle some of the most pressing healthcare issues we face in this region, including growing our specialist base and services," Rod Harkleroad, market president of Highpoint and CEO of Highpoint Health-Sumner, said in a Dec. 1 news release.

In October, Ascension Michigan and Detroit-based Henry Ford Health also announced a joint venture, in which Henry Ford would essentially fold Ascension's sites of care in the southeastern region of the state under its brand.

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