Prisma Health sets up head­quar­ters in Up­state

The State - - Front Page - BY JEFF WILKIN­SON AND SARAH EL­LIS jwilkin­[email protected]­ sel­[email protected]­

Prisma Health, the com­pany formed by the merger of Pal­metto Health and Greenville Health Sys­tems, will es­tab­lish its cor­po­rate head­quar­ters in Greenville.

Com­bined with the re­cent pur­chase of SCANA by Vir­gini­abased Do­min­ion En­ergy, the Prisma move means the cap­i­tal city will have lost two of its big­gest cor­po­rate head­quar­ters.

In ad­di­tion, Prisma Co-Chief Ex­ec­u­tives Charles D. Bea­man Jr., the for­mer CEO of Pal­metto Health, and Michael C. Riordan, for­mer CEO of Greenville Health Sys­tem, will step down after a new CEO is named. Their con­tracts ex­pire at the end of 2019.

Prisma Health has launched a na­tional search for a new chief ex­ec­u­tive.

“We are com­mit­ted to find­ing the right leader, just as we are com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing the health and well-be­ing of peo­ple in the Mid­lands, the Up­state and, ul­ti­mately, the en­tire state,” James E. “Rick” Wheel- er, vice pres­i­dent of M-D Metal-Source and chair­man of the Prisma Health Board of Directors said in a news re­lease.

“With each step, we are com­ing closer to de­liv­er­ing on our prom­ise to cre­ate a bet­ter state of health in South Carolina by im­prov­ing clin­i­cal qual­ity, the pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence and ac­cess to care, and con­tain­ing ris­ing health care costs,” he said.

Pal­metto Health and Greenville Health Sys­tem merged in Novem­ber 2017 to cre­ate the largest health sys­tem in South Carolina with 13 hos­pi­tals.

Prisma serves more than

1.2 mil­lion pa­tients an­nu­ally — or about onequar­ter of the state’s pop­u­la­tion. The com­pany has more than 30,000 em­ploy­ees.

It’s a bit of a blow to Columbia to be over­looked for the group’s head­quar­ters, said Carl Black­stone, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Columbia Cham­ber.

But, he said, “I’m not sur­prised.”

“The pos­i­tive side of this is it’s still a South Carolina com­pany,” Black­stone said. “The over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of care­givers are here in Columbia and are fo­cused on the Mid­lands of South Carolina. ... Would we pre­fer to have (ex­ec­u­tive of­fices) here? Ab­so­lutely. But we’re not talk­ing about but a hand­ful of folks.”

Prisma said in the news re­lease that it is cre­at­ing an “ex­ec­u­tive home of­fice” in Greenville “as part of its ef­forts to im­prove syn­er­gies and re­duce in­ef­fi­cien­cies.”

It de­scribed the new of­fice as a “sin­gle phys­i­cal lo­ca­tion where a small group of se­nior cor­po­rate lead­ers is lo­cated.”

“It is not a tra­di­tional large cor­po­rate head­quar­ters where all se­nior lead­ers, cor­po­rate func­tions and their teams are housed,” it said. “The of­fice will be home for up to 60 se­nior cor­po­rate lead­ers and re­lated sup­port staff in­clud­ing the new CEO.”

The cor­po­rate move is ex­pected to take place this sum­mer, it said.

“Bring­ing our se­nior cor­po­rate lead­ers to­gether un­der one roof will help im­prove com­mu­ni­ca­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tion and de­ci­sion-mak­ing while sup­port­ing strate­gic growth and de­vel­op­ment,” Wheeler said in the re­lease. “From a prac­ti­cal stand­point, it will help re­duce travel time and ex­penses for meet­ings.”

Lynn Bai­ley, Columbi­abased health care econ­o­mist, called the move a good one.

She said the Greenville Health Sys­tem was bet­ter man­aged and the cul­ture in Greenville is more con­ducive to quicker, more ef­fec­tive de­ci­sions. The cre­ation of a “su­per board” when Pal­metto Health was formed made the or­ga­ni­za­tion top heavy, she said.

“Greenville has a func­tion­ing health care sys­tem,” she said. “We don’t have a func­tion­ing health care sys­tem. There are more chiefs than In­di­ans. It’s a clown car. Greenville has brought them closer to re­al­ity.”

Bea­man, a Columbia na­tive, was pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Bap­tist Health­care Sys­tem for a decade be­fore it merged with Rich­land Memo­rial Hospi­tal to be­come the Pal­metto Health sys­tem in 1998.

At that time, Bea­man be­came the new health sys­tem’s found­ing pres­i­dent. In 2007, he as­sumed the CEO du­ties as well.

Bea­man, 67, has worked in Mid­lands health care for 45 years.

He was named co-CEO with Riordan when Pal­metto Health merged with Greenville Health Sys­tem.

It is un­clear what Bea­man’s role with the com­pany might be, if any.

“We ex­pect, once the new CEO is named and on board, to be able to share more specifics about Chuck Bea­man’s and Mike Riordan’s next steps,” Prisma spokes­woman Tam­mie Epps said.

The com­bined com­pa­nies were ex­pected to gen­er­ate $3.9 bil­lion in an­nual net rev­enue and be­come the largest pri­vate em­ployer in South Carolina with more than 28,000 health care work­ers and 2,800 physi­cians.


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