May 10, 2022
New York, NY – Kinderhook Industries, LLC (“Kinderhook”) announced today the formation of a new primary care platform focused on expanding access to care in underserved, rural markets. Kinderhook, in conjunction with the Platform’s new CEO Benson Sloan, launched the company headquartered in Nashville, TN, and initially partnered with Smoky Mountain Urgent Care PC (“Smoky Mountain” or the “Company”). Kinderhook both recapitalized the Company and provided significant additional growth capital to further invest in similar healthcare providers. The transaction represents Kinderhook’s 57th healthcare-related transaction. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Smoky Mountain opened its first family care clinic in 2013 which became Graham County, NC’s first open-7-days primary care facility. Since then, the Bryson City, NC clinic has grown into a 4-location physician-owned group of family medicine clinics. Led by founder David Castor, M.D., Smoky Mountain serves rural communities in North Carolina which are designated as Medically Underserved Areas.
Smoky Mountain is the first transaction in Kinderhook’s vision to scale a new multi-state primary care platform (the “Platform”). Through the Platform, Kinderhook will invest in rural family medicine providers to help them grow, adopt leading technologies, and utilize best practices to better serve their communities. Benson Sloan, previously an executive at naviHealth, will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Platform. Additionally, David Castor, M.D. will join the Platform as Regional Medical Director.
“I am excited to join Kinderhook and work with Dr. Castor on expanding primary care access,” said Benson Sloan, Chief Executive Officer of the Platform. “Our goal is to ultimately improve the lives of those living in underserved communities, which we believe starts with high quality primary care. We will enable providers by investing in their clinics to improve the overall experience.”
“Kinderhook’s vision of investing in health care for rural America and their experience in government healthcare programs made this an ideal partnership for our clinics and staff,” said David Castor, M.D., Founder of Smoky Mountain. “This partnership creates tremendous opportunities to provide better care to the members of our communities.”
“We are excited to establish a platform focused on expanding our rural healthcare system,” said Chris Michalik, Managing Director of Kinderhook Industries. “I am looking forward to working with Benson Sloan, Dr. Castor and their teams to support the Platform’s growth plan.”
“Rural communities feature the highest patients per physician ratios, greatest frequency of hospital closures, and the most significant unmet demand for specialist providers. It is no secret that Americans living in rural communities have perpetually faced a variety of access barriers to high quality, convenient, and affordable primary care services,” said Matt Bubis, Kinderhook Vice President. “We are extremely excited to work with Benson Sloan and his team to change the landscape for healthcare in rural America.”
Bass, Berry & Sims PLC served as legal counsel to Kinderhook. Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison, PLC served as legal advisor, and Merge Growth Advisors served as financial advisor to Smoky Mountain.