ThedaCare plans to merge two of its hospitals under one roof

Appleton, Wis.-based ThedaCare is considering building a new hospital that would combine Appleton (Wis.) Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wis., according to a report.

The organization's board of trustees on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of continuing a study that will determine whether replacing the two older hospital facilities with one larger one makes more sense than investing in each separately.

Dean Gruner, president and CEO of ThedaCare, said the goal of the proposed project is to control costs by eliminating duplicative services and improving the delivery of healthcare in the community, according to the report.

A final decision on whether or not to pursue a new combined hospital will come in two to three years, according to Mr. Gruner, and its construction would take an additional two years. Potential locations and cost estimates for the hospital were not disclosed.

"This is not on the fast track," said Mr. Gruner, according to the report. "It's not like this is approved. There are going to be a series of additional approvals that the board will have. We have to analyze all of the financial ramifications, and we have to understand the quality ramifications."

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