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THA, UAB sign management agreement

Second UAB representative appointed to hospital board

Tombigbee Healthcare Authority and UAB Health Systems entered into an agreement that will provide management assistance for Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital.

A management agreement between THA and UAB was signed on Monday, Oct. 1 and is for a two-year term. Through the agreement, UAB will be involved in various aspects of the hospital such as position recruitment, supply chain management, group purchasing, revenue cycle management and marketing. They will also be analyzing specific healthcare needs for this area.

Sean Tinney

“(UAB) will be heavily involved in managing the hospital and providing their expertise in a number of areas. This is not a case of them taking over the hospital, but rather working with us to improve and provide the best service possible,” said THA Board Vice Chairman Allen Bishop.

In April, THA and UAB entered into a nonbinding memorandum of understanding to explore a possible relationship between the two organizations.

Don Lilly

The new agreement between the local hospital and UAB comes after legislation passed in 2016 by the Alabama Legislature creating a path for University Health Authorities to assist smaller Alabama hospitals.

“One of the main goals of this legislation was to help find ways to assist rural hospitals in remaining viable for the future,” said Will Ferniany, Ph.D., CEO of the UAB Health System. “This will be one of the first opportunities to utilize this legislation and explore ways in which UAB and Bryan Whitfield Memorial can work together to improve health and wellness in Demopolis and the surrounding region.”

Prior to signing the management agreement Monday, THA Board of Directors appointed Sean Tinney, a senior vice-president and chief operating officer for UAB’s Medical West Hospital, as a member to their board during a meeting on Thursday, Sept. 28.

Tinney is the second representative of UAB to be appointed to the THA Board in recent weeks. The Demopolis City Council appointed Don Lilly, a senior vice president of network development and affiliate operations at UAB Health System, to the board in September.

In his current role as COO at Medical West Hospital, Tinney has operational responsibilities in a number of areas. Prior to joining Medical West, Tinney was with St. Vincent’s Health System for six years, serving as president of Rural Hospital Operations and president and COO of St. Vincent’s East.

With 18 years of experience in healthcare, Tinney has served in various hospital leadership roles in six hospitals across the state of Alabama.

“We are very excited to have (Tinney and Lilly) on our board. Their experience and expertise will be invaluable as we work to provide the best healthcare possible to those across our region,” said Bishop, who serves as the chairman of the THA Board’s nominating committee.