Luis Leon is president of hospital operations for Prime Healthcare, which is scheduled to close Tuesday on its purchase of Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket. After the purchase, Landmark will become Rhode Islandâ€™s only for-profit hospital. Leon, a Cuban native whose family moved to the United States when he was a young child, holds a certificate as a physician assistant as well as an associateâ€™s degree in x-ray technology.
PBN: How was Landmark Medical Center chosen as a hospital to add to Prime Healthcare's roster?
LEON: The management of Prime Healthcare Services has expertise in turning around struggling community hospitals. Landmark Medical Centerâ€™s profile as a busy, yet financially struggling acute care community hospital, fit Prime Healthcareâ€™s acquisition profile.
PBN: Does Landmark, with its history and location, present unique challenges â€“ and opportunities â€“ for Prime Healthcare?
LEON: We believe there are opportunities to enhance Landmarkâ€™s market share through investments in infrastructure, equipment and medical staff development, as surrounding communities become aware of Prime Healthcareâ€™s commitment to high-quality hospital care and patients begin seeing $30 million in capital renovations and upgrades.
PBN: What sort of blend of local and newly arriving management traditionally works the best for hospitals that are newly within the Prime Healthcare system?
LEON: Prime Healthcare will be lending its expertise to the existing local management team as we begin to turnaround Landmark. Additionally, [Landmark] will have a local new board of directors comprised of physicians and members of the community.
PBN: What is a typical timeframe for bringing new hospitals into the fold in a complete way? Is it more on the level of months or years?
LEON: Turning around struggling community hospitals takes time. While there is no specific timetable, it generally takes about eight months to a year before a hospital is completely integrated and becomes financially stable. Since the Prime Healthcare executive management team has been actively assisting Landmarkâ€™s management already, full integration should be quicker.
PBN: After the Dec. 31 closing, what is the first major change that will take place at the hospital?
LEON: Patients and employees will notice renovations to several areas of the hospital (lobby, nursing units) as well as new clinical equipment, furnishings and fixtures.