In The News

RHI Legacy Foundation Redeems Ownership Interest in Rutherford Regional Health System to Duke LifePoint Healthcare

Transition enables foundation to direct more resources toward meeting community needs; RRHS will continue to focus on delivering high quality care and services as part of Duke LifePoint

Rutherfordton, N.C., XX, 2020 — The RHI Legacy Foundation today announced that it has redeemed its ownership interest in Rutherford Regional Health System (RRHS) to Duke LifePoint Healthcare. This move, which makes RRHS wholly owned by Duke LifePoint, will allow the foundation to dedicate all of its efforts to working with local nonprofits and governmental agencies in addressing health and wellness needs in its community. RRHS employees, physicians, volunteers, and patients will see no changes as part of this transition, and the quality care and service the community has come to expect from the system will remain the same.

The RHI Legacy Foundation has shared ownership of RRHS with Duke LifePoint since 2014, when the RRHS Board of Directors finalized an agreement to enter into a joint venture in which Duke LifePoint acquired 80 percent ownership of the health system and RHI Legacy Foundation retained 20 percent ownership.

“The joint venture with Duke LifePoint was formed to ensure that our community had a voice in Rutherford Regional Health System’s future,” said Beth Miller, chair of the RHI Legacy Foundation board of directors. “Based on our experiences the last six years, we believe we have accomplished this. We have great confidence in Duke LifePoint’s ability to operate the hospital in partnership with the community without our involvement, which led the RHI Legacy Foundation board to begin evaluating how we could better serve our region.”

Added Miller, “Redeeming our ownership stake in RRHS and completing our joint venture agreement with Duke LifePoint will give us additional resources to expand the ways we improve health and wellness in our community without the complexities of partial ownership of the health system.”

Since 2014, the RHI Legacy Foundation has provided more than $10 million in financial support to local nonprofits and governmental agencies for projects and programs. The foundation concentrates its efforts in the focus areas of chronic disease, healthy eating, and active living. In addition to supporting many organizations such as food pantries, the backpack program, and senior meal deliveries, the foundation provided funds for construction of the Thermal Belt Rail Trail.

“Our team appreciates the support and leadership we have received from the RHI Legacy Foundation over the last six years,” said Rebecca Segal, CEO of RRHS. “We are proud of what we accomplished together with the foundation and wholeheartedly support this transition. We are excited for this next step in the RHI Legacy Foundation’s evolution and look forward to seeing how it will continue to grow the many ways it enhances the health and wellness of people throughout Rutherford County.”

As part of the joint venture, RRHS, Duke LifePoint and the RHI Legacy Foundation have significantly expanded the ways RRHS serves Rutherfordton and surrounding communities, including:

  • Recruiting to the community physicians in areas such as general surgery, OB/GYN, primary care, pain, pediatrics, orthopedic surgery, psychiatry, cardiology and urology, among others;
  • Adding new services such as 3-D mammography and advanced imaging;
  • Renovating or constructing facilities to improve patient experiences and enhance services through additions such as a cardiac catheterization lab; and
  • Advancing quality care, achieving Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the American College of Cardiology, Commission on Cancer Accreditation, and its best-ever Joint Commission Survey.

Terms for redeeming the foundation’s stake in the joint venture were established to allow for a smooth transition for the RHI Legacy Foundation to continue to serve the community and ensure that providing quality healthcare will remain a priority for RRHS.