Highlands Health System Set to Merge with Appalachian Regional Healthcare


Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) and Highlands Health System announced today they have entered into a Letter of Intent to merge the Prestonsburg-based Highlands Regional Medical Center and other Highlands Health facilities and services into the multi-hospital ARH system.

ARH and Highlands hope to finalize the transaction by early next year after the completion of the due diligence process. 

Harold C. Warman, President of Highlands Health System, said the merger will ensure that the communities Highlands serves will continue to have local access to the level of high-quality, cutting-edge healthcare Highlands has provided for the more than 44 years. 

“It has been very important to us to identify a strong organization that can continue to provide the same level of advanced healthcare services our patients have come to expect from Highlands as well as position the hospital for continued growth in the future,” Warman said. “Appalachian Regional Healthcare has been the leading provider of care in eastern Kentucky for more than 60 years and in that time the health system has been consistently recognized for its quality and commitment to excellent patient care. In combining the strength of the ARH system of hospitals with the exceptionally skilled Highland’s staff, we are confident that through this merger, the health of our communities will be in the best of hands.”

Under the agreement, the 192-bed Highlands Regional Medical Center will operate under the new name, Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center, and will become the 12th hospital in the ARH system. All other Highlands outpatient services and facilities in Floyd, Johnson, Martin and Magoffin counties are also included in the merger.

ARH offers a wide-range of primary and specialty care services through its network of health facilities and partnerships with other health systems, virtually eliminating residents’ need to leave the area for care.

 “As a member of the ARH system, Highlands will continue to provide its tradition of excellent care while also benefitting from the collective stability and strength a multi-hospital system such as ARH can offer,” said ARH President and CEO Joe Grossman. “ARH is committed to providing our patients an unparalleled experience as the most trusted home for healthcare. To do this, we continue to build upon the passion and dedication of our talented staff and the unmatched quality of the care we provide.  We are excited that the Highlands team will be a part of the ARH system and our long-term plans for the future of healthcare in eastern Kentucky.”


Appalachian Regional Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system currently operating 11 hospitals in Barbourville, Hazard, Harlan, Hyden, McDowell, Middlesboro, West Liberty, Whitesburg and South Williamson in Kentucky and Beckley and Hinton in West Virginia, as well as multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. ARH employs nearly 5,000 people with an annual payroll and benefits of $330 million generated into our local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia, and is consistently recognized for its medical excellence.

Highlands Health System is a community-owned, not-for-profit health system, and is the parent company for Highlands Regional Medical Center, Highlands Center for Autism, Highlands Foundation, Highlands Home Health, and Hometown Family Care.



Back to Home Page