Ministry Health Care’s parent organization signs memorandum of understanding with Ascension Health

September 5, 2012 (Milwaukee) – Marian Health System, parent organization of Ministry Health Care, announced today a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed with Ascension Health Alliance of St. Louis, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system. Ministry Health Care is one of three regional health systems sponsored by Marian Health System, founded in 1989, included in the MOU.

The MOU includes the three Marian regional health systems sponsored by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother: Via Christi Health in Wichita, Kan.; Ministry Health Care; and St. John Health System in Tulsa, Okla.

Ministry Health Care has a presence throughout Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota with 15 hospitals, 46 clinics and nearly 12,000 employees. Most recently, Ministry Health Care assumed sole sponsorship of Affinity Health System located in Northeast Wisconsin.

Over the next several months, the organizations will pursue the development of a definitive agreement and begin due diligence. If an agreement is reached Ministry Health Care would become a regional ministry of Ascension Health and the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother would share a leadership role of Ascension Health with four other religious congregations.

“By joining these other religious congregations, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother have the opportunity to ensure Catholic health care in the United States is strong and vibrant now and into the future. A relationship with Ascension Health brings many benefits to Ministry, including greater access to capital, economies of scale and best practices, a connection to an innovative organization recognized for high level performance with a commitment to growing and diversifying and the backing of a strong, national health care system,” said Nick Desien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ministry Health Care.

“Ascension Health Alliance and the health systems of Marian Health share a common goal of serving all with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable,” said Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ascension Health Alliance. “This step is part of an ongoing effort to strengthen Catholic health care in the U.S. The systems are all committed to serving the community and advocating for the common good.”

Ministry Health Care would become the second health care ministry of Ascension Health in Wisconsin joining Columbia St. Mary’s in the greater Milwaukee market. Columbia St. Mary’s with $850 million in annual operating revenue operates four hospitals and 62 clinics serving families in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Sheboygan counties and has been a ministry of Ascension since 1999.

Ministry Health Care
Ministry Health Care is an integrated health care delivery system serving more than 1.1 million people across Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. Ministry operations generate more than $2.2 billion in annual operating revenue with 15 hospitals, 46 clinics and nearly 12,000 employees. More than 650 physicians and advanced practice clinicians provide personalized care at Ministry primary and specialty care clinic locations. Home health care, hospice and long-term care services are also provided across the region.

Ministry hospitals are located in Appleton, Chilton, Eagle River, Marshfield, Merrill, Oshkosh, Park Falls, Rhinelander, Stanley, Stevens Point, Sturgeon Bay, Tomahawk, Weston and Woodruff in Wisconsin and Wabasha, Minnesota. Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Marshfield, is the only recognized children’s hospital in Wisconsin outside of Madison or Milwaukee.

Ministry was founded by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother more than 120 years ago to further the healing ministry of Jesus by continually improving the health and well-being of all people, especially the poor. Ministry is ranked among the top 20 percent of health care systems in the country.

About Ascension Health
Ascension Health is transforming health care by providing the highest quality care to all with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Last year Ascension Health Alliance, through its subsidiary Ascension Health, provided more than $1.2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and community benefit programs.

Recognized as one of the premier health care delivery systems in the nation, Ascension Health has a presence in 21 states, a work force of more than 120,000 people, and currently operates more than 70 hospitals and nearly 1,000 ambulatory care facilities. Outside of the VA system, Ascension Health is the largest provider of graduate medical education in the country.

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