Wadley Regional Unveils Its Plans for Hope Project

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 12:00 am  

New owners are investing $2.6 million to restore the fortunes of Wadley Regional Medical Center at Hope.

Wadley Regional Medical Center of Texarkana, Texas, said it plans to spend about $2.6 million during the next year on medical equipment at its newly acquired hospital in Hope.

Wadley Regional’s parent company, Brim Holdings of Texas, an affiliate of Iasis Healthcare of Franklin, Tenn., bought Hope Medical Park Hospital LLC for $3.7 million on Aug. 1 out of U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Hope Medical, formerly known as Signature Medical Park Hospital LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May.

Wadley Regional serves nine counties in southwest Arkansas, spokeswoman Shelby Brown said, “so it’s not unreasonable for us to look to expand our footprint.”

Hope Medical had been struggling for years, and in June, two of its owners were sent to federal prison for five years for not paying payroll taxes at a hospital in Texas.

Wadley will focus on improving outpatient services and the emergency room at the 79-bed Hope hospital, which is now called Wadley Regional Medical Center at Hope.

Wadley has contracted with CEP America of Emeryville, Calif., the largest physician-owned emergency medicine group in the country, to work at the hospital, she said. The move is designed to increase patient volume, Brown said.

Wadley also plans to buy a CT scan machine and an MRI machine.

“With some updated equipment, we’ll actually go out and market to the referring physicians and to the community … about the new technology,” Brown said. “There certainly is some technology needs over there, and we just want to be able to provide that to the community.”

The hospital has about 150 employees, and Brown said no additional hiring is planned.

Crimes Take a Toll

Hope Medical Park’s struggles can be tied to two of its owners, James Cheek, who owned 50.8 percent of the company, and Herschel Breig, who owned 18.2 percent. The other two owners were Dudley Bell, 8 percent, and Ted Cheek, 23 percent. All of the businessmen are from Springfield, Mo.

In August 2011, a grand jury in Lubbock, Texas, indicted Cheek and Breig on several counts related to not paying taxes at Highland Medical Center in Lubbock. Both had an ownership interest in the hospital. Cheek was its CEO, and Breig was its senior vice president of cash management.



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