|(WICHITA, KAN.) SEPT. 5, 2012 – Via Christi Health and two other regional health systems would become a full part of Ascension Health under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Ascension Health Alliance and the Marian Health System.
Ascension Health, the largest Catholic health system in the United States, already has a 50 percent sponsorship of Via Christi through its affiliation with the Congregation of St. Joseph, one of the Wichita health system’s founding orders of sisters. Via Christi’s other founding order, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, have operated their three regional health systems – Via Christi, Ministry Health Care in Milwaukee, and St. John Health System in Tulsa, Okla. – through the Marian Health System since 1989.
Given the declining number of sisters actively involved in health care, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother have been engaged in a thoughtful process to develop a long-term sponsorship vision for their health care ministries. As a result, they have decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that could result in Marian Health System, including Via Christi, becoming a full part of Ascension Health.
“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 common good.”
The organizations will conduct due diligence in anticipation of reaching a definitive agreement by the end of the first quarter of 2013. Specific terms of the MOU and the agreement are confidential.
Via Christi Health became affiliated with Ascension Health in 2007 when the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita joined their fellow congregations to form the Congregation of St. Joseph which exercises its health ministries through Ascension Health.
“Via Christi has been affiliated with Marian Health since 1989 and Ascension Health since 2007,” said Jeff Korsmo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Via Christi Health. “This decision would bring both of our founding congregations and Via Christi itself fully under the sponsorship of Ascension Health, strengthening our relationship and giving us access to all of Ascension Health’s programs from clinical excellence to advocacy and administration.”
About Ascension Health Alliance
Ascension Health Alliance is transforming healthcare 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. Its Mission-focused Health Ministries employ more than 121,000 associates serving in more than 1,400 locations in 21 states and the District of Columbia. Other Ascension Health Alliance subsidiaries focus on a wide range of service areas, including treasury management services, venture capital investing, global mission support and medical engineering services. Another subsidiary, Ascension Health Care Network, a joint venture with Oak Hill Capital Partners, provides an alternative funding source for the acquisition of Catholic hospitals and other health care provider entities.
About Marian Health System
Marian Health System was founded in 1989 and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother. It consists of three regional systems: Via Christi Health in Wichita, Kan., which is currently an Ascension Health affiliate; Ministry Health Care in Wisconsin; and St. John Health System in Tulsa, Okla. The three regional systems provide care at nearly two hundred locations, including 36 hospitals and more than 150 clinics.
About Via Christi Health
Via Christi Health, a Catholic-sponsored ministry affiliated with Marian Health System and Ascension Health, is the largest provider of health care services in Kansas. Via Christi employs more than 10,000 in its hospitals, senior villages, physician offices and health services. In fiscal year 2011, it provided more than $82 million in community benefit to those it serves, including the poor. Visit viachristi.org.