Southeast Iowa Hospitals to Evaluate Merger

Great River Health and Fort Madison Community Hospital look to turn competition into collaboration

Great River Health and Fort Madison Community Hospital (FMCH) have entered into an agreement to evaluate a merger of the two health care facilities. The due diligence phase, which helps determine viability of a merger, is expected to last three to six months.

A merger would help ensure continuation of high-quality primary and specialty care in southeast Iowa by a locally owned health system. Great River Health System is based in West Burlington, and FMCH is in Fort Madison.

“This will be two historically competitive organizations exploring the idea of creating an alliance – the greatest opportunity our communities have ever had in solidifying a foundation upon which all of our patients can receive comprehensive, coordinated care long into the future,” said FMCH President and CEO Jeremy Alexander. “It would also create an environment-friendly to new and exciting specialties.”

The agreement was a decision by the boards of directors at both organizations. The evaluation begins as 20-year Great River Health President and CEO Mark Richardson retires and new executive Matt Wenzel assumes leadership Tuesday, Jan. 2.

“To remain financially strong in health care today, hospitals and health systems must work together to continue providing quality care while facing reduced reimbursements,” Richardson said. “Partnering with FMCH would, foremost, benefit patients and improve the stability of our organizations.”

About Fort Madison Community Hospital

FMCH is a not for profit rural health care organization that consists of a multi-specialty clinic and hospital services. The 472 FMCH employees are dedicated to their mission to advance the health and well-being of all people through compassionate, quality care, education and community service.

About Great River Health

Great River Health in West Burlington, Iowa, is a 378-bed comprehensive, regional health care system that offers acute, skilled and long-term care, 25 primary-care and specialty clinics, three retail pharmacies and two retail medical equipment and supplies stores.