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Baptist Health has finalized purchase of Hardin Memorial Health and changed its name to Baptist Health Hardin, in keeping with its tradition of linking the hospital name with its geographic location.

All told, the transaction includes $361.4 million in payments and future investments.

The closing came about three years after the Hardin Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees signed a letter of intent to pursue the sale to long-time manager Baptist Health. Prior to that, the board conducted an exhaustive search for a new partner for the regional health system, sifting through about three dozen proposals before choosing Baptist Health.

Under the purchase agreement, Baptist Health acquires all assets of HMH and, in return, will commit $235 million over 10 years in operating and capital investments.

Baptist Health will invest a minimum of $150 million in the first five years to build new facilities, recruit more physicians and upgrade information technology and equipment. After the first five-year period, Baptist Health will commit an additional $85 million in capital investments.

At closing, Baptist Health paid the county $60 million, less the amount used in July to fully fund the Hardin Memorial defined benefit pension plan for current employees and retirees, plus another $66.4 million over 25 years.

Baptist Health will also provide up to $150,000 per year for 25 years for healthcare services historically provided to inmates of the Hardin County Detention Center.

The sale was marked with a signing ceremony on the lawn and unveiling of new signage. The ceremony was viewed by leaders and board members from both health systems and livestreamed on social media for employees and the public. COVID-19 restrictions dictated a smaller event.