Johnstown Independent

Medical Center of Newark merges with Licking Memorial


Patients of the Medical Center of Newark will notice changes but still will receive premium care following the Licking Memorial Health Systems' purchase of the facility, said Rob Montagnese, LMHS president and CEO.

The sale is expected to be finalized by the end of the year, Montagnese said.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to grow with that space," he said.

According to a Dec. 10 press release, LMHS has facilitated an agreement with the Medical Center of Newark for the purchase of the assets at 2000 Tamarack Road and an agreement between LMHS and Newark Ambulatory Surgery Center Real Estate Co. for the associated real estate at that location.

Both organizations have agreed in principle upon the financial components and other specifics based upon an independent appraisal and valuation by outside entities.

Montagnese praised the collaborative endeavor.

"This is a great opportunity for the medical community within Licking County," he said. "The combination of facilities will continue to enhance the health-care potential within our community."

According to the release, the recent agreement also was welcomed by Jim Havens, MCN co-founder.

"We are pleased with the arrangement with (LMHS)," he said. "This decision will be a great benefit to residents through the streamlining of health-care services."

Montagnese said plans for the transition still are being finalized. The transactions are expected to be completed by the end of the year, and he expects the terms of the purchase to be released at that point. MCN will continue operations until the transactions are completed.

"I think this gives us the opportunity to provide more services or the same services in a more convenient location," said Montagnese, who said he anticipates a focus on outpatient services at the MCN facility, although the exact services to be offered at the site still are under consideration.

Montagnese said LMHS "will have the same commitment" to serve existing MCN patients should they choose to stay.

"We would welcome them," he said.

Existing MCN patients might need to visit the LMHS main campus to meet their current needs, but "I don't think for a lot of folks it's been an either/or," he said.

Montagnese said he believes many of MCN's patients also use LMHS' services.

He said the MCN administration has been looking for someone to partner with for "a couple years," and the MCN and LMHS administrations had begun to meet about five or six months ago.

Montagnese said a decrease in reimbursements and other "financial stressors" have challenged MCN's ability to succeed.

"It's a challenge for any health-care facility of the day," he said.