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Wernick briefs commission on Palmyra acquisition

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga.: The CEO of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital told the Dougherty County Commission Monday that the expects to be closing on the deal to acquire Palmyra Medical Centers by the end of January.

Joel Wernick said acquiring Palmyra was the next logical step for Phoebe while addressing the hospital's need for expansion in Dougherty County.

The Hospital Authority of Dougherty County voted Dec. 21 to back the deal that will allow Phoebe Putney Health System to pay $195 million to acquire Palmyra and its properties.

Monday, Wernick told the commission that Phoebe was faced with either building another medical facility in Albany to address the shortage of beds or acquiring Palmyra, which he said would be the cheaper of the two options.

During his presentation, Wernick told the commission that he was aware of the public concern about the future of current Palmyra employees but said that Phoebe intends to assimilate them into their system.

While he again pledged no immediate layoffs, Wernick said that there could be the possibility of reassignments to a different Phoebe facility.