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By GALEN HOLLEY
Staff Writer

   The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson has been selected by the Grenada County Board of Supervisors as the best choice to lease Grenada Lake Medical Center.
According to District One Supervisor Michael Lott, the supervisors selected UMC during a meeting with the Butler-Snow Law firm on Tuesday.
   This does not necessarily mean the deal is done, according to County Attorney Jay Gore III, only that UMC has been chosen as the most favorable option.
   “There will be a lengthy due diligence process,” said Gore. “We have to tie down details, make an orderly transfer of license and certificates, etc.”
   Because UMC is state-owned, Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning will have to sign-off on the deal, Gore said.
   The supervisors first spoke with the GLMC board in March about employee concerns and decided to seek consultation for possible sale or lease of the hospital. County officials finalized their list of expectations in August and began seeking requests for proposals.
   “I think UMC will be a good fit for Grenada,” said GLMC Director of Administration Chip Denton. “They’re certainly a prestigious organization with extensive resources, and they have a strong interest in making this community hospital as successful as it can be.”
   Over the coming weeks personnel from the hospital will hold a series of meetings with UMC personnel, Denton said.
   “They want to assess our strengths. I like to think they’ll be merging with us. They’ll try to ascertain where they have excess capacity that could benefit us. We’ll try to decide how we can interlock these two institutions for the benefit of both.”
   The supervisors and personnel from UMC will likely conclude their due diligence process by the end of the first quarter of 2013, according to Gore.
   “When other hospitals have a question, they consult UMC, said Lott. “We’re happy with this decision, and we’re confident it’s in the best interest of Grenada and surrounding communities.”


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