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New healthcare system planned for Northwest Indiana
Leadership from Community Foundation, Inc., Munster, Ind., and Ancilla Systems Inc., Hobart, and its sponsor, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC), announced today that they have signed a letter of intent to explore the formation of a new healthcare system to better serve the residents of Northwest Indiana.
Under terms still to be negotiated and finalized, Community Foundation, the parent organization of The Community Hospital, Munster, will acquire Ancilla’s two local hospitals, St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center, Hobart.
Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana (CFNI) will be created by this sale, becoming a not-for-profit system composed of the three hospitals. The new organization will also include the entities’ many outpatient and other health related centers and physician offices.
The sale requires appropriate legal and possibly regulatory review, and acceptance by the Catholic Church. Such acceptance is governed by universal Church law and comes from the Holy See.
It is expected that the sale will be completed by March 2001.
“The integration of Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center is being pursued to create a stronger organization to deliver the highest quality healthcare to the citizens of Northwest Indiana,” said Donald S. Powers, President of Community Foundation.
“In recognition of the needs of area business and industry, there should be an opportunity to achieve savings by optimizing capacity at the hospitals,” said Beth Kaminski, President and CEO of Ancilla Systems. “By coordinating services among three facilities, the combined organization will be able to secure a larger market share while reducing healthcare costs and increasing quality. Integration will also allow for improved financial performance, and continued availability of capital for replacement and growth. All this will increase each organization’s ability to continue to provide or enhance the same level of services needed in the community.”
“Today’s market conditions of declining reimbursements and increasing managed care penetration have challenged us all to strengthen our ability to sustain the current health programs, as well as respond to unmet community needs,” said Powers.
“Both St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center will continue the PHJC tradition of serving all people with a particular sensitivity for the poor and powerless,” said Sister Kathleen Quinn, a Poor Handmaid and Chairperson of Ancilla Systems. She noted that Community Hospital will remain non-denominational.
As part of the agreement to purchase the Ancilla hospitals, Community Foundation has agreed to uphold their Catholic traditions, ensuring that the mission of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ is carried forward. All three hospitals will continue to be operated as not-for-profit hospitals under Community Foundation’s ownership.
“CFNI has committed to participate in the funding of the Poor Handmaid’s charitable work,” said Sr. Kathleen, “with the funds used to benefit the citizens of Northwest Indiana.” Ms. Kaminski added that “Ancilla will also continue to operate its hospitals on Chicago’s near Northwest Side and in East St. Louis, Illinois.”