Ministry Assumes Sponsorship of Affinity Health System
Ministry Health Care (Ministry) and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare (Wheaton) are announcing the transfer of sponsorship of Affinity Health System (Affinity) in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley. Ministry and Wheaton have been co-sponsors of Affinity since 1996. Effective today, February 8, Ministry assumes sponsorship of Affinity.
Affinity is a network of three hospitals, 26 clinics, a medical group that includes nearly 300 providers, and 4,000 employees who serve the health care needs of the greater Fox Valley area. In addition, Affinity’s Network Health Plan also provides health insurance benefits to more than 133,000 members in communities located throughout northeastern Wisconsin's 17 counties. Ministry’s sponsor, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, founded Affinity’s Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh in 1891. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare’s sponsor, the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, founded Affinity’s St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton in 1899.
According to John Oliverio, president and CEO of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, “Ministry and Wheaton have had a long and successful partnership as co-sponsors of Affinity. In view of the pending challenges of health care reform and federal budget deficits, Ministry approached our organization last year with a proposal to assume sponsorship of Affinity. After thoughtful review and discussions, we reached an agreement that will allow Ministry to continue the strong tradition of delivering the Catholic health care ministry to the Fox Valley that was begun by our founding Sisters and fulfills the heritage of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and our founders.”
“The assumption of sponsorship by Ministry will extend our health care delivery footprint into a contiguous geographic market,” noted Nick Desien, president and CEO of Ministry Health Care. “Sole sponsorship brings additional assets to Ministry’s delivery system, which will create cost-saving opportunities, provide additional medical management experience and infrastructure, and better position Ministry to address issues related to health care reform.”
“We are supportive of this new sponsorship agreement,” said Daniel E. Neufelder, president and CEO of Affinity Health System. “Our patients and members should expect a continuation of personalized care from our physicians and care teams in the same close-to-home clinics and hospitals they currently visit.”