ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - We are hearing for the first time from one of the leaders behind the proposed Lee County Medical Center.
Getting to know one of the people behind the proposed hospital
Eddie Alexander is the CEO and President of Healthcare Facilities Partners, LLC. He's also the CEO and President of a newly created LCMC HOSPCO, LLC, that has been created as a special purpose entity for the Lee County Medical Center.
Fresh off the plane from Tennessee, Alexander arrived in Georgia on Tuesday morning. The trip was one of the several trips he's taken to the peach state since he became involved with the Lee County Hospital and first met commissioners.
On Tuesday he was in Atlanta, listening in while opponents of the proposed hospital make their arguments in front of Department of Community Health officials.
"I hope the state will look at the application and agree with us that we've hit the exceptions that are needed to be able to do Lee County Medical Center and that there truly is a need for competition," explained Alexander.
A background in developing hospitals
Alexander has a long history with opening hospitals and surgical centers. He led the effort's in building a hospital from just a piece of land before.
"From literally greenfield, nothing existed and then we did everything to make them actually become a reality," said Alexander.
He's built nine other hospitals from the ground up in several different areas:
- Lakeway, Texas
- Developed, pre-opened, advised and invested in a 106 bed, 274,000 square-foot hospital
- Clear Lake, Texas
- Pre-opened, advised and invested in a 104 bed, 265,000 square-foot hospital
- Dallas, Texas
- Investor in a 100 bed, 200,000 square-foot hospital
- Murrieta, CA
- Pre-opened, advised and invested in a 106 bed, 250,000 square-foot hospital
- El Paso, Texas
- Advised and invested in a 40 bed, 75,000 square-foot hospital
- Houston Texas
- Pre-opened, advised and invested in a 92 bed, 227,000 square-foot hospital
- Bloomingdale, Indiana
- Developed, Pre-opened, advised and invested in a 80 bed, 92,000 square-foot hospital
- New Albany, Ohio
- Developed, pre-opened, advised and invested in a 42 bed, 96,000 square-foot hospital
- Chicago, Illinois,
- Advised and Invested in a 85 bed, 200,000 square-foot hospital
In 30 years of business, Alexander said he has been involved in two lawsuits.
Learning from years of experience
The first was in Texas where the hospital was accused of stealing trade secrets.
"It was again initiated by a competitor and ultimately found frivolous and was tossed out," said Alexander.
The second lawsuit involves a contract with a doctor at Walnut Hill hospital in Dallas. Alexander did not comment on that suit as it is still pending.
Alexander admits the Walnut Hill hospital was not a successful project.
It filed for bankruptcy after being open a few short years.
He said he had agreed to help with the hospital after it had previously failed. He liked the doctors who had started the hospital and felt that together they could make it a success. That, however, did not happen.
"It was a little too big, a little too expensive for the volume it saw," explained Edwards.
Alexander said he's learned from that experience and has made changes to ensure it doesn't happen in Lee County.
"We'll make sure we understand the extent of the physician involvement that's been committed, we'll do a little more due diligence to know the volumes we project are going to be there," said Alexander.
Alexander said the hospital has had support from area doctors.
Finding the possible Lee County Medical Center
He said it was a conversation one of his friends had with doctors on a trip to the South Georgia area that sparked the idea of opening a hospital in Lee County. Alexander explained a counterpart was looking to buy a facility. When she spoke with local doctors, she said they expressed a need for another hospital in the area.
After hearing of the need, Alexander got with Freese Johnson, a contractor and developer out of Atlanta as well as Lee County Commissioners. Together, Alexander said they made the decision to go forward in proposing to bring another hospital to the area,
"I would say it really was a concerted effort. It really came all together simultaneously," said Alexander.
The deadline for the Department of Community Health to make a decision regarding the Certificate of Need Application for the hospital is in the near future.
Those who formally opposed the hospital met on Tuesday in Atlanta.
They had the opportunity to present in front of the Department of Community Health.
Alexander was present, but could not comment. Now, he has a short period of time to provide a written statement.
The Department of Community Health will make a final decision about the hospital by November 15.
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