Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

February 4, 2014

CMC joins Covenant Health

CROSSVILLE — Cumberland Medical Center is now a part of the Covenant Health system, but the hospital will keep its name and its mission, to serve the health care needs of the community. The merger with Covenant Health, which was completed Feb. 1, will allow the hospital to better serve those health care needs, according to CMC leadership.

"This is an important day for Covenant Health,” said Anthony L. Spezia, president and CEO of the health system. “The outstanding physicians, caregivers, administration and support staff at Cumberland Medical Center have become part of a team of more than 10,000 health care professionals who share a commitment to provide the best possible patient care.”

Careful study

Covenant and CMC announced they were studying a possible merger in June 2013. Since that time, integration teams have performed needs assessments and planning projects across the many service areas of the hospital.

"For a number of years now, it has become more difficult for stand-alone, independent non-profit hospitals, such as ours, to survive in this particular environment," explained Ed Anderson, CMC chief executive officer.

One of the difficulties small, independent hospitals face is access to new technology and new treatment options for patients.

"We need resources we just didn't have," Anderson explained as he recounted the CMC move towards a merger.

"In doing so, we would be able to continue to have the type of hospital we have," Anderson said. "We would be able to offer more current technologies, perhaps, and additional services to our community. That's the reason we're here. That's the reason for this hospital."

They found Covenant Health, which operates a number of medical centers, physician groups and ancillary health care facilities in East Tennessee. CMC already had a relationship with Covenant, which had partnered with CMC to operate the Regional Cancer Center through Thompson Cancer Survival Center. Covenant Health is also a not-for-profit health care system, which was important to the CMC board, Anderson said.

"We felt like they represented more similarity to our way of providing these health care services," Anderson said. "We both came to the conclusion that, if we could come together, it would be more beneficial to everyone concerned."

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