Johnson County hospital board: no sale

January 22, 2008

Board members of Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin are willing to work with outside parties but have no plans to sell or merge the facility, the Daily Journal of Franklin reported today.

In a statement, the board of the 149-bed, county-owned hospital asked Johnson County residents for patience as it evaluates its short- and long-term future.

Johnson Memorial enjoys a growing population of residents with employer-sponsored health insurance. But it also faces intense competition from larger rivals.

St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is expanding its campus near Interstate 65 and Southport Road. Community Hospital South recently completed an expansion of its facility on County Line Road. And Clarian Health acquired 160 acres near Bargersville last year, positioning itself to build a facility there.

Johnson Memorial's board also must find a new CEO after it agreed with Gregg Bechtold that he would leave his position on Dec. 31. After 15 years at the helm, Bechtold received a $600,000 severance package, the newspaper said.

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