Suffolk, Va.- March 16, 2006 - Obici Health System in Suffolk and Norfolk-based Sentara Healthcare have received clearance from federal and state regulatory bodies and anticipate that their planned merger will become effective April 1, 2006. The legacy of hospital founder Amedeo Obici will live on in its new name, Sentara Obici Hospital.
"This is a great day for health care in Suffolk," says Obici board chairman J. Samuel Glasscock. "The hospital's future is secure and the quality of health care in western Tidewater is going to be enhanced, Glasscock predicts, because of the financial and program strength Sentara brings to Suffolk."
The regulatory review process was thorough, and completed more quickly than we anticipated, says Sentara president and COO Howard Kern.
Sentara assumes debt, funds Obici Foundation
Two independent assessors reviewed the value of the Obici assets and representatives of both systems negotiated a final figure of approximately $130 million. As part of the definitive merger agreement, Sentara Healthcare will assume all $60 million of Obicis debt and infuse the independent Obici Healthcare Foundation with approximately $70 million. Sentara will also invest an additional $32.5 million on the Obici campus over the next five years in building and equipment improvements.
"This new money allows the Obici Healthcare Foundation to change course," says George Birdsong, chairman of the Obici Healthcare Foundation. "The foundation can now focus on partnerships with community groups and making grants for solutions to health care needs, further enhancing healthcare services to the community."
"We are delighted to officially be in Suffolk and part of the Obici legacy," says Sentara CEO David Bernd. "We're excited at the opportunity to improve health every day in this vibrant, growing community."