The boards and sponsors of Catholic Health East (CHE) and Trinity Health, two leading Catholic health systems, announced Wednesday they signed a non-binding letter of intent to come together into a unified national health system that will enhance their mission of service to people and communities across the United States.
St. Mary Medical Center in Middletown is owned by CHE.
The boards also announced that Joseph R. Swedish, president and CEO of Trinity Health, would become president and CEO of the anticipated new organization, and that Judith M. Persichilli, president and CEO of CHE, would become executive vice president of the new organization. Until the new organization is created, both executives will lead its formation while retaining their current title, role and responsibilities for their respective organizations.
The consolidation would create a health system that serves people in 21 states from coast to coast with 82 hospitals, 89 continuing care facilities and home health and hospice programs that provide nearly 2.8 million visits annually. More than 87,000 employees, including 4,100 employed physicians, would provide care in the new system.
“Trinity Health and Catholic Health East are strong Catholic health care systems that share a Gospel-based mission and an unyielding commitment to care for people who are poor and underserved,” said Sister Mary Mollison, CSA, chair of Trinity Health. “This consolidation advances the vision of congregations of Sisters that founded these health care ministries, addresses the changing health care environment and takes a bold next step for Catholic health care.”
“The joining together of Catholic Health East and Trinity Health represents the next step in the courageous journey begun more than a century ago by the women religious of our founding congregations,” said Sister Barbara Wheeley, R.S.M., CHE’s Sponsors Council coordinator. “We are confident this will help preserve and strengthen Catholic health care for generations to come.”
“A unified ministry allows us to better leverage our talents and size, and to use our resources more effectively in furtherance of our mission,” said Dennis Fitzpatrick, chairperson of Catholic Health East’s board of directors. “Together, we will have a greater ability to influence and transform health care at the national level.”
The new system would have annual operating revenues of about $13.3 billion and assets of about $19.3 billion, and would return almost $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other programs.
“To serve people best in today’s health care environment, health systems must have ready access to resources and ideas across the broad spectrum of care, and this consolidation would help us achieve that goal with an exceptional national network,” said Joseph Swedish, president and CEO, Trinity Health. “We are excited about the benefits our combined organizations will bring to people and communities nationwide.”
The consolidation will help address the rapidly changing health care environment that requires more focus on population health and the delivery of more coordinated and integrated care and health and wellness services.
“By bringing Catholic Health East and Trinity Health together, we will enhance our ability to create innovative models of care and advance clinical quality across the continuum,” said Judith Persichilli, president and CEO, Catholic Health East. “This is a wonderful opportunity for both ministries to build upon our common mission, and enhance our collective ability to be a transforming, healing presence in the communities we are privileged to serve.”
The development of the consolidation is in its preliminary phase. Over the next few months, the systems’ boards and management will pursue the potential consolidation and conduct due diligence with a goal of reaching a definitive agreement in spring 2013.