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Bishop's Rejection Leads to Restructuring of Catholic Health, Summa Partnership

Cincinnati-based Catholic Health Partners is restructuring a proposed deal to become a minority owner of Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health System in response to the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland's rejection of the strategic partnership, according to an Akron Beacon Journal report.

In a letter to Catholic Health Partners, Bishop Richard Lennon shot down the deal because of Summa's plans to keep providing contraceptives, sterilizations and abortions on a limited basis when medically necessary, according to the report.

Earlier this year, CHP and Summa approved a letter of intent to create a "strategic partnership." Under the deal, Summa will retain majority ownership and local control of its facilities, and CHP will become a minority owner. Under the terms of a definitive agreement approved by both organizations in June, Summa isn't required to follow the ethical guidelines for Catholic hospitals from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, according to the report.

CHP understands the bishop's point of view and has therefore decided to alter the transaction, Catholic Health Partners’ spokeswoman Liz Vogel told the Journal. Cincinnati-based HealthSpan Partners — a secular organization owned by Catholic Health Partners — will partner with Summa instead.

While Ms. Vogel said the new deal won't require Bishop Lennon's approval, Robert Tayek — director of media and public relations for the diocese — told the Journal it's too early to say whether the bishop will still have to review the transaction.

More Articles on Hospital Partnerships:
Summa Health System to Partner With Catholic Health Partners
Washington Hospital Association Backs Religious, Secular Hospital Mergers
Religious-Secular Hospital Mergers: How to Make Them Work

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