By Vanessa Kahin
After months of sale negotiations and several weeks of anticipation, the hospital on East 19th Street has a brand new name.
Once known as Roswell Regional Hospital, the city’s most recent alternative for hospital care, the facility will now be known as Lovelace Regional Hospital-Roswell.
Hospital staff revealed the name during an unveiling ceremony at the facility’s cafeteria, Tuesday.
“We’ve got a lot of reasons to celebrate,” said Ron Stern, CEO of Lovelace Health System.
Insurance brokers mingled with hospital staff as everyone had lunch.
The ceremony also included an unveiling of new art to be printed on anything related to the hospital — such as letterhead, business cards and postcards. Artwork includes Lovelace’s signature daisy with a stethoscope for a stem.
Ben Slocum, CEO of Lovelace Health Plan, to which LHS is a parent company, said there are about 30,000 people in and around Roswell who are LHP members.
“We’re happy to be here,” Slocum said of Lovelace’s new hospital. “We’re happy to expand. … The local community appears to be very excited.”
Stern said representatives of the newly named hospital will continue to reach out to the community of Roswell — businesses and individuals alike.
Frederick French, a local gastroenterologist who was one of the hospital’s original owners, spoke briefly during Tuesday’s ceremony.
“The sky’s the limit,” he said to hospital staff. “Let’s go forward.”
What was once known as Roswell Regional Hospital first opened its doors in May 2007. The 77,000-square foot, 26-bed hospital was originally owned by 22 doctors, anesthesiologists and midwives.
In late 2011, Roswell Regional Hospital was almost sold to a subsidiary of Community Health Systems Inc. The Federal Trade Commission halted the sale, as CHS is an affiliate of Eastern New Mexico Medical Center. It was determined such a sale would hinder competition.
The hospital was then sold to Lovelace. The sale transaction was finalized Feb. 2. Lovelace Regional Hospital-Roswell is the first Lovelace facility in southeast New Mexico.