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Business Structure Evaluation Process Overview

Lee Health Begins Evaluation of Current Business Structure with Community-Focused Mission in Mind

For the first 50 years of its history, Lee Health operated as a private nonprofit entity. In 1968, we began operating as an independent special healthcare district created by the Florida Legislature and governed by a publicly elected Board of Directors. Over the last several decades, our community has grown dramatically, and through it all, Lee Health has remained unwavering its mission of meeting the healthcare needs of residents regardless of their ability to pay, while also providing a positive and opportunity-filled work environment for team members and physicians.

The healthcare industry has also evolved and transformed in dramatic ways since 1968, intensifying financial and operational pressures and creating a surge in new competition from large, for-profit health systems located in other states and from well-funded private equity startups. Recognizing the growing pressure publicly owned health systems face, the Florida Legislature set forth clear guidelines for Lee Health to review our structure and evaluate the potential benefits to the residents of Lee County of returning to a private nonprofit health system from our current status as a public health system. 

With the approval of our Board of Directors and as laid out by the Florida Legislature, we have begun the evaluation process by engaging a highly respected healthcare advisory firm with experience in such evaluations to provide us with unbiased, third-party perspectives and expertise on the matter.

The forthcoming evaluation will help determine the best option for:

  • Protecting our financial health, independence and community-led structure long-term, and 
  • Fueling our continued national leadership in healthcare, and 
  • Ensuring our ability to provide a full array of high-quality care and services to everyone in our region, regardless of their ability to pay.

This is only one step in a thoughtful and lengthy discernment process. Any potential change to our business structure will be based on what we learn and would require a public hearing, public meetings and additional votes by the Board of Directors and the Lee County Board of Commissioners.

As our community’s most preferred and trusted provider of care, we are committed to transparency and to sharing more information along the way.