Annual meeting

Audience members listen intently at the annual meeting for LRGHealthcare on Wednesday evening at Laconia Country Club. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

LACONIA – LRGHealthcare officials hope its financial problems will be solved through a merger with another organization.

Ideally, they would like to have a 3 percent operating margin that would allow more investment in equipment and programs, but this isn’t realistic given nationwide pressures on community hospitals, unless it can find a partner, said Kevin Donovan, president and chief executive officer.

A partnership, he said, could allow to LRGH to expand services, utilize the latest clinical technologies, improve recruitment of clinical staff while benefiting from a partner’s resources, infrastructure and best practices.

“And ultimately it would be good if we could secure some type of significant capital investment,” Donovan said.

LRGH engaged a national firm, Kaufman Hall, to help in its search for a partner. Donovan said LRGH contacted 49 potential partners, heard back from 15, narrowed it down to five and then began to concentrate on one particular organization.

However, LRGH is now reassessing its options through a due diligence process and reconsidering some of the other organizations, Donovan said.

“The great news is we could have gone out and talked to 49 organizations and we could have heard, ‘No, we don’t have any interest in partnering with you,’ he said. “The good news is we’ve had many organizations that are interested in talking to us.”

He said there has been a lot of public interest in learning the name of the ultimate partner for LRGH, which has more than 1,000 employees.

“There won’t be a reveal tonight because I don’t know the answer to that,” Donovan said. “What I always say to folks is, ‘As soon as we know and we can say something, we will.’”

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