Adventist Health System will return control of Bert Fish Medical Center, Inc. to the Southeast Volusia Hospital district following a court ruling from Florida’s Seventh Judicial Circuit.
"We disagree with the ruling and believe there are compelling grounds to appeal this decision,” said Don Jernigan, President/CEO, Adventist Health System. “However, we have determined that the uncertainty and instability that would exist during the appeals process would not be beneficial to the hospital, our employees, or the community. It is in the best interest of Bert Fish Medical Center that we honor the Court’s ruling rather than continue the litigation."
Adventist Health System has leased and operated the hospital since July 1, 2010 with the District continuing ownership of the physical building and equipment. On August 11, 2010, the Bert Fish Foundation, Inc. sued Bert Fish Medical Center and the Southeast Volusia Hospital District seeking to void the new relationship because of alleged Sunshine Law violations. Responding to that lawsuit, the District and Bert Fish once again opened the process to find a partner. At the conclusion of this process, Adventist Health System was chosen for the second time, emerging as the preferred choice among three candidates. On February 24, 2011, the court ruled that this second process was flawed and directed Adventist Health System to return the hospital to the District.
“The team at Bert Fish Medical Center has endured challenging and uncertain times these last few months,” said Daryl Tol, Market CEO,Volusia/Flagler Region. ”Though this is not the outcome we had hoped for, let me assure you that the physicians, clinicians, and staff at Bert Fish Medical Center are unequivocally committed to the citizens of this community. I am honored to have worked with them and pray that they will have continued success in the future.”
Adventist Health System will have a full departure schedule outlined to Judge Richard Graham on or before March 28, 2011. The plan will detail an orderly and expeditious exit and after that time Bert Fish Medical Center will be once again be subject to the control of the Southeast Volusia Hospital District.
About Adventist Health System
Adventist Health System is a not-for-profit health care organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, Adventist Health System has grown to become the largest not-for-profit Protestant health care provider in the nation. Today, Adventist Health System, whose flagship entity is Florida Hospital, supports 43 campuses and employs nearly 55,000 individuals. Adventist Health System hospitals are comprised of more than 7,700 licensed beds, providing care for four million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits.