RANDOLPH COUNTY — During the month of July, the Randolph County Board of Commissioners has continued to move the county toward a merger for Randolph Health, approving the advancement of $3 million to American Healthcare Systems.

This decision to provide the advance comes as the board seeks to preserve the primary health care provider in Randolph County by meeting the request of a buyer that agreed to a sale valued at more than $10 million.

“Over the last two and a half years that we were intent on saving a hospital in Randolph County, we went through any number of processes, changes, decisions by others to get there,” said Darrell Frye, chairman of the board. “We want to keep our hospital, we want to get it off to a good start and provide healthcare services to the citizens. That’s why we went through all of those things.”

A bankruptcy court previously approved an amended sales agreement with California-based American Healthcare Systems, Randolph Health Interim CEO Michael Miller said last month. Randolph Health filed for reorganization bankruptcy protection in March 2020 through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The court this past October initially approved the sale to American Healthcare Systems to move forward.

The purchase price for Randolph Health will be $10.2 million.

Frye said that the merger will bring stability to the future of the health system and Randolph hospital. With 1,100 employees, Randolph Health ranks among the five largest employers in the county.

The Randolph County Board of Commissioners played a direct role in the merger. On behalf of Randolph Health, the commissioners applied for a $12 million loan through the state Rural Health Care Stabilization Act. The N.C. General Assembly created the hospital loan fund to help preserve smaller medical centers in rural areas.

The $12 million for the Randolph Health merger will essentially serve as a bridge loan helping with the financial transition to the new ownership.

Also during the regular July commissioners meeting, a delegation from Archdale was on hand to observe Mayor Bert Lance-Stone’s reception of a token of the board’s appreciation as the county honored the recently retired mayor.

“I’ve made so many wonderful friends since I’ve endeavored upon this exciting adventure,” Lance-Stone said. “I thank the commissioners for all the support you’ve given us in Archdale. We’ve worked on several projects together and you’ve always been there for us.”

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.