WARRENTON, Va., Nov. 30, 2017 — The PATH Foundation announced that as it completes its fourth year of work in the community, it will redeem its 20 percent ownership interest in Fauquier Health to LifePoint Health®. This announcement comes approximately four years after the Fauquier Health Board of Directors finalized an agreement to enter into a joint venture with LifePoint, in which FHI Services, a corporation of the PATH Foundation, retained 20 percent ownership and a subsidiary of LifePoint Health acquired 80 percent ownership of the health system. The Board arrived at this decision in 2013 after a formal process to identify a strong partner that could provide the resources and experiences the health system needed to evolve amidst a national healthcare landscape.
John McCarthy, chair of the PATH Foundation, said, “The leadership of the PATH Foundation reached this decision thoughtfully after much discussion over the past year. Redeeming our 20 percent ownership will allow us to better serve our communities by focusing solely on the foundation’s work of strengthening overall health and wellness, without the complexities of 20 percent ownership of the health system. Given the vision for the future under LifePoint’s leadership, we’re confident that now is the right time to proceed.”
Since 2013, the joint venture relationship with LifePoint has allowed the PATH Foundation to remain involved with the transition and have a strong voice in the leadership and direction of Fauquier Health moving forward. Of particular importance, the joint venture governing board was heavily involved with LifePoint in the selection of Fauquier Health’s new CEO, Chad Melton, earlier this year.
Added McCarthy, “This was the purpose of the joint venture agreement – to ensure our local leadership was involved on these important issues during the transition. In fact, the terms for redeeming our 20 percent were established when the joint venture was created. This was very intentionally defined so that we could remain flexible years into the joint venture, should the PATH Foundation feel its resources could better serve the community in other ways. We are eager for the opportunities this transaction will provide.”
Christy Connolly, president and CEO of the PATH Foundation, noted the foundation’s increased grant-making capacity, “As we finalize the end of the joint venture and move toward private foundation status late in 2018, the PATH Foundation will have more funds that go to our mission of strengthening the health and vitality of our community. This will be reflected in both grants offered to area nonprofits and government entities, as well as in programs initiated by the foundation.
Selling 20 percent of the joint venture will not preclude the PATH Foundation from continuing to work with area health systems to better the health of our communities. For example, work to develop community health worker programs and mental health services at the Fauquier Free Clinic will continue. These programs benefit the health of community members, as well as reducing avoidable ER visits and readmissions to hospitals.
Ray Knott, chair of Fauquier Health, said, “The joint venture partnership between the PATH Foundation and LifePoint Health has allowed the foundation to make a real difference in Fauquier, Rappahannock and northern Culpeper counties. In 2016, the PATH Foundation’s investment in the community was $4.4 million, with 2017 investment anticipated to be in excess of $6 million. We are eager to see both of our organizations continue to grow independently of one another while continuing to work together to make our communities healthier for years to come.”
The terms for moving forward with the transition of the 20 percent were established when the joint venture was created. The process is expected to take several months.