Green Valley

Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital as seen from the helipad.

Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital in Green Valley could have a new owner by summer.

Tucson Medical Center has begun the due diligence process to acquire the 49-bed hospital that opened in 2015, and has seen its share of ups and downs. 

If the deal goes through, the hospital would operate as part of the nonprofit TMC Health system, according to a memo sent to TMC employees Monday. The process could take 60 days.

Steve Harris, CEO of Santa Cruz hospital, said the entities signed a non-binding letter of intent last week. A purchase price was not disclosed.

He said the hospital, which has had six CEOs, wasn’t up for sale but has had a longstanding relationship with TMC.

“They love the Green Valley market,” Harris said. “They’re a very mission-driven organization and financially well-run.”

In 2014, TMC strongly considered operating the hospital in Green Valley. At one point, it announced it had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with McDowell Enterprises to explore the development and operation of what would become Green Valley Hospital, later renamed Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital.

That deal didn’t go through and the doors opened in 2015 as an independently operated hospital. It went into bankruptcy two years later. 

The hospital was purchased after emerging from bankruptcy in 2018 by the lone bidder, Lateral GV, an offshoot of California-based Lateral Investment Management in California. 

Harris said all Green Valley employees would be offered positions with TMC. He also expects more specialties to be offered in Green Valley. Employees were told of the possible sale Monday afternoon.

Harris plans to retire but said he will help through the transition as needed.

“I’m willing to do whatever they want me to do to make this successful,” he said.

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