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Presence Health to join Ascension

St. Louis-based Ascension, the nation's largest nonprofit Catholic health system, signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire Chicago-based Presence Health, Illinois' largest Catholic health system.

Under the deal, Presence's medical centers, outpatient facilities and other care sites would be operated by Amita Health, a joint venture created by Ascension's Arlington Heights-based Alexian Brothers Health System and Hinsdale, Ill.-based Adventist Midwest Health, part of Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based Adventist Health System. Ascension would own the facilities.

Presence Life Connections' skilled nursing and assisted and independent living facilities would join Ascension’s senior care subsidiary, the companies said in a news release.

"The mission, values and history of Presence Health clearly align well with those of Ascension, as both systems are dedicated to caring for all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable," Ascension President and CEO Anthony Tersigni, EdD, said in the release. "We believe this will strengthen Catholic healthcare not only in the region but throughout the country as we are all dedicated to delivering personalized, compassionate care."

Mark Frey, president and CEO of Amita and senior vice president of St. Louis-based Ascension Healthcare, a division of Ascension, also expressed excitement about the proposed transaction.

"Since we brought together Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health to form Amita Health two years ago, we've always looked for opportunities to add like-minded partners with similar values to our system," he said. "Bringing Presence Health into Ascension and Amita Health is a perfect fit and an exciting continuation of our commitment to increase access to quality healthcare in the many communities we serve."

Presence President and CEO Michael Englehart echoed these sentiments, saying his system "look[s] forward to working together to engage in this joint effort to expand, and continue to deliver, quality care for our patients and residents, as well as provide additional clinical opportunities and patient care resources to all our physicians and associates."

The systems said a definitive agreement is expected in the future "pending detailed legal and financial due diligence, along with regulatory and canonical approval." The deal, if completed, would add 10 Presence hospitals to Ascension and Amita, increasing Ascension's hospitals to 151. Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare earlier this month announced plans to own the other two Presence hospitals — Presence Covenant Medical Center in Urbana, Ill., and Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, Ill.

 

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