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Matilda Sanchez
Communications Specialist
Seton Family of Hospitals
Office: 512-324-5826
Mobile: 512-289-5908

Celeste LaRocca
Public Relations
Smithville Regional Hospital
Office: 512-769-0338

Seton to Acquire Smithville Regional Hospital

AUSTIN, TX - (September 1, 2010) - Charles J. Barnett, FACHE, President/CEO of the Seton Family of Hospitals, and Grady Hooper, CEO, Smithville Regional Hospital, today announced that Seton has entered into a letter of intent with the Smithville Hospital Authority to lease and operate the Smithville Regional Hospital. The initial lease duration will be set at 30 years, with an optional 20-year extension. The transaction is expected to be final by the end of the year.

"The needs of the residents of Bastrop County coincide with the mission of the Seton Family of Hospitals," Barnett said. "The residents of Bastrop County require complex health care services. As we've demonstrated in Luling and the Highland Lakes , Seton can bring entirely new levels of healthcare to a region-comprehensive care for patients with complex needs, enhanced trauma services, and care for the vulnerable."

Currently, Bastrop County is the ninth-fastest growing county in Texas , and has been given the official designation as a "Federal Health Professional Shortage" area. Adding to Bastrop County 's health care challenges is the fact that Medicaid and charity or self-pay admissions to area hospitals and emergency departments is expected to nearly double by 2020.

"Stand-alone hospitals face a unique and nearly insurmountable challenge," Barnett continued. "By partnering with the Seton Family of Hospitals, Smithville and Bastrop County will be able to meet those challenges of delivering enhanced healthcare, recruiting new physicians, and strengthening the area's safety net."

"Uniting the Smithville Regional Hospital and Seton is a great advantage for Bastrop County residents," said Earl Walborg, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Smithville Hospital Authority. "It's also beneficial for our employees to be part of a strong health care network."

Neither Barnett nor Walborg anticipate any significant disruptions in day-to-day operations.

About the Seton Family of Hospitals

The Seton Family of Hospitals is the leading provider of health care services in Central Texas with 24 clinical locations throughout the region. The system includes the only Level I Trauma Centers for adult and pediatric patients in the Austin area; the only heart transplant center in Central Texas; and the first two Designated Stroke Centers in Texas to receive a Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission. Seton's Dell Children's Medical Center is the only free-standing pediatric facility in Central Texas . Seton's affiliation with UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and The University of Texas System will attract top researchers to the Seton Family and expand medical education in the region. Seton hospitals have earned four Magnet designations, the highest award for nursing excellence given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).* In Fiscal Year 2009, Seton provided more than $430 million in charity and community benefit to Central Texans. Seton is a member of Ascension Health, the largest not-for-profit health network in the nation.

The ANCC is an independent subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, the nation's largest organization of nursing professionals.

About Smithville Regional Hospital

Smithville Regional Hospital, a caring partner of the Smithville Hospital Authority, is a 36-bed licensed facility. The hospital offers comprehensive health care resources in Bastrop County and surrounding areas. Smithville Regional Hospital provides advanced inpatient and outpatient services, including a Level IV Trauma designated emergency room. Other caring partners of the Smithville Hospital Authority include RiverBend Medical Group, RiverBend Home Health, Bastrop Physical Therapy and Fitness Center, Bastrop Medical Center and Towers Nursing Home.

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