Reviving a Closed Community Hospital

“LifePoint was the answer.”
John Soper, Local Business Leader, Versailles, KY & Michele Welling, M.D., Bluegrass Community Hospital

“Our local hospital had failed,” says Versailles, Kentucky bank CEO John Soper. “As local leaders, we knew we had to have a hospital, and we knew we had to have the right partner. LifePoint was the answer.”

The former Woodford Memorial Hospital in Versailles (now Bluegrass Community Hospital) was run as a freestanding 501(c)(3)not-for-profit-hospital. It served a growing community but struggled for years. The challenges of being a stand-alone facility were too much and without warning, the hospital closed. “It was like a downhill spiral,” says Soper. “They were not able to invest in the hospital and so people got in the habit of leaving town for their healthcare.”

“It just closed suddenly one day,” remembers Michele Welling, M.D., a local internist. “We practiced at that hospital, admitted our patients to the hospital, and in one day it was gone. People began to look at different options, but we, as a medical staff, were reluctant to put our trust
in another organization.”

Soper goes on,“LifePoint re-opened the hospital in 2001. They hired back the staff and began investing in the facility. They recruited doctors, and made sure people got good care. Since then it has been a super success. People can stay in town for care. LifePoint really understands what’s important for hospitals in communities like ours.”

According to Dr. Welling,“the closing of the hospital was traumatic for my patients and for me. But since then, LifePoint has really been there for me. They are committed to the medical staff. They have helped recruit new physicians, helped me run a better practice, and brought new services to the community.”

“You can tell the culture of a corporation from its leaders,” says John. “I’ve been to a few LifePoint company meetings, and their leaders understand what it means to run a hospital in a town like ours. We have a local CEO and a local board of trustees. This is our hospital, in our community, and LifePoint is the perfect partner for us.”

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