Cherokee County (AL) EMS service to stop operations as of Sept. 30, after negotiations falter with Floyd Medical Center. It’s unclear who will be providing future EMS service.

Cherokee County (AL) EMS service to stop operations as of Sept. 30, after negotiations falter with Floyd Medical Center. It’s unclear who will be providing future EMS service.

Cherokee (AL) EMS (photo from WEIS Radio)

It looks like ambulance coverage and service in Cherokee County, AL is in limbo. According to WEIS RadioCherokee EMS to cease ambulance operations as of September 30, 2018.

The Cherokee Emergency Medical Services Board of Directors issued a Public Notice on August 29th to that effect.

According to the Notice, there have been negotiations with Floyd Medical Center trying to reach agreement for Cherokee EMS to continue providing ambulance services in Cherokee County; however, the statement said negotiations have broken down and they are currently at an impasse. Floyd took over as the lease-owner and manager of daily operations of Cherokee Medical Center in Centre as of June 1.

Floyd has no comment at this time according to Daniel Bevels with Floyd’s Public Relations Department.

Cherokee EMS has provided Ambulance/EMS Services for Cherokee County for 18 years.

According to Eric Ellis, chairman of the Cherokee County Healthcare Authority, Ambulance/EMS Services will continue in Cherokee County.

“We certainly appreciate all the folks at Cherokee EMS for their 18 years of faithful service. The Cherokee County Healthcare Authority has stewardship and oversight of the 4 mil property tax and our mission is supporting healthcare services such as the hospital, ambulance service, nursing home and assisted living facility. A county-wide ambulance service has been and will continue to be a top priority,” said Ellis in an interview with WEIS.

The Cherokee County Communications District this week issued an invitation to bid Ambulance/EMS Services for the County, according to the radio station. At this moment it’s unclear who will be providing Ambulance and EMS services for Cherokee County, but Cherokee County residents will not be without these invaluable medical services.

Previous report:

Media release: The hospital in Cherokee County, Ala., has a new name, effective June 1 as Floyd Cherokee Medical Center as the hospital joins the Floyd family of health care service. Effective June 1, Floyd Cherokee Medical Center, a subsidiary of Floyd Healthcare Management Inc. is the new lease-owner and manager of daily operations of the Centre, Ala., hospital, following the completion of a three-part transaction.

The arrangement became official after separate meetings of the Floyd boards and the Cherokee County Health Care Authority. The authority purchased substantially all of the assets related to the operation of Cherokee Medical Center along with medical office buildings, physician clinics and outpatient care facilities from its current owners, all of which are subsidiaries of NNZ LLC. Following the sale, the hospital real estate was transferred to CCHCA, which, in turn, leased the hospital property to FCMC while the other assets of the hospital were transferred from the current owners directly to the new Floyd company. With those transactions complete, the hospital’s name changed to Floyd Cherokee Medical Center.

“Floyd Cherokee Medical Center is an asset to our community, and it is important that this authority and our community do everything we can to make sure that it continues to be here to serve our residents and visitors,” said Eric Ellis, CCHCA chairman. “We believe this lease and operations agreement with Floyd will help us to do that.”

Brandon Reece will serve as hospital administrator. He previously served as Financial Operations Director of Floyd Medical Center’s Emergency Care Center. Reece, who received a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Berry College, is also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Terry Long will serve as Chief Nursing Officer. Hospital employees who are not affected by the agreement will continue to work at Floyd Cherokee Medical Center with no loss in pay, benefits or seniority.

Floyd Cherokee Medical Center will be governed by a board of directors. Directors include, George A Bosworth, M.D., chairman of Floyd Healthcare Management Inc.; Kay Y. Chumbler, vice chairman of Floyd Healthcare Management Inc.; David Early, Floyd vice president of support services and operations; Chad A. Hopper, an attorney with Buttram, Hawkins, Hopper in Centre; Jay Howell, a retired Alabama Department of Public Safety employee and Centre native; Johna M. Lindsey, community education specialist at Gadsden State Community College in Centre; and Kurt Stuenkel, Floyd president at CEO.

The board of directors of the former Cherokee Medical Center Inc. will serve as the hospital’s Patient Family Advisory Committee, which provides guidance and insight into hospital operations from the viewpoint of the patients and families who use the hospital. Those committee members are Lowell Hamilton, retired; Mary Davis, president of Childcare Resource Network in Fort Payne, Ala.; Tracy Bishop, pharmacist at Dean’s Drugs in Cedar Bluff, Ala.; Wallace Lyons, an accountant with Lyons and Morgan CPAs in Centre; Dr. Ryan Rainer, a Centre family medicine physician and Dr. Brian Perry, also a Centre family medicine physician.

Cherokee Medical Center offers an array of health care services to the more than 25,000 citizens of Cherokee County, including diagnostic imaging, drug and alcohol treatment, emergency care, laboratory services, nutritional services, pharmacy, respiratory care, rehabilitation services, surgical services and sub-acute rehabilitation care.

Floyd has experience and success in managing rural hospitals. Floyd also operates Polk Medical Center, a 25-bed critical access hospital under a lease agreement with the Cedartown Polk Hospital Authority. And, Floyd already has a significant presence in Cherokee County, Ala. Floyd Primary Care and Urgent Care in Centre records nearly 10,000 patient visits annually.

“Floyd has a long-standing presence in and history of providing outstanding, high quality services to Cherokee residents,” Early said. “Now, in addition to primary and urgent care, citizens of Cherokee County will benefit from revitalized hospital services in their own community. This is an opportunity to develop and create new services to serve Cherokee County and the surrounding region.”

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