A more than two-year affiliation between Neshoba County General Hospital and Nursing Home and Anderson Regional Medical Center has proven successful, their two chief executive officers told the Board of Supervisors on Monday.

Ray Humphreys, president and CEO of Anderson, said the affiliation does not include any transfer of monies between the two hospitals nor does it mandate any patient referrals from Neshoba General to Anderson.

The two CEOs signed the affiliation in July 2011, noting that Neshoba General would have access to Anderson's specialty services and business expertise while maintaining its independence and local governance.

Humphreys along with Neshoba General CEO Lonnie Graeber told supervisors on Monday the cornerstone of the partnership was an improvement in the quality of patient care.

A Neshoba County native, Humphreys said he was happy to be doing business with friends in his hometown.

"It's good to be home," he said of his work with Neshoba General. "I'm very proud of our affiliation."

He described the affiliation as a "working partnership" between the two hospitals and noted there was no transfer of assets under the agreement.

Neshoba General and Anderson have an ongoing joint marketing campaign underway to educate the public about stroke symptoms and treatment.

He told supervisors that the marketing was important because it was not uncommon for someone suffering stroke symptoms to go out and purchase new pajamas before seeking treatment at a hospital.

Immediate treatment is important, he said.

Since the 2011 affiliation, Anderson has purchased the Airpark Clinic from Neshoba General, where it employed a physician, nurse practitioner and staff. A new family medicine physician was recruited and is also practicing at Airpark and is on staff at Neshoba General.

They are admitting to Neshoba General and that is important, Humphreys said.

In addition, Anderson has arranged pain management and OB/GYN physician services at Airpark.

New services on tap for Neshoba General under the affiliation include the development of a new sleep lab and a new infusion center.

Humphreys lauded the fact that Neshoba General saw a $3.5 million profit in fiscal 2012.

"Last week's headline [in the newspaper] is important," he said of the profit. "That's incredible."

He reminded supervisors that Anderson provided New Market Tax Credit information to Neshoba General which led to $4.2 million in construction capital for the new hospital.

He said group purchasing for the two hospitals has yielded high savings for Neshoba General. In addition, the hospital has seen a 10 percent savings on its employee health plan since the affiliation.

Humphreys said the two hospitals are also exploring future opportunities in areas such as information technology and new services including wound care which would benefit patients with diabetes.

Humphreys praised the new Neshoba General Hospital facility.

"Your success this year has been phenomenal," he said.

I'm proud to be on the team. It makes this job fun for me to be contributing to my home county."