St. Joseph Parent Organization Plans to Join CHI

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Sylvania Franciscan Health, which operates the St. Joseph Health System in the Brazos Valley, announced Wednesday that Catholic Health Initiatives was in the process of acquiring them.

A non-binding letter of intent to begin negotiating CHI's acquisition of SFH was signed, with the hope that the process will be completed in the fall.

SFH, headed up by the Sisters of St. Francis, is based in Sylvania, Ohio, and operates health services in Kentucky and Ohio in addition to Texas.

The St. Joseph Health System was founded in 1936 by the Sisters of St. Francis, according to its website. It includes the Bryan hospital, which is the only Level II trauma center in the region. Two other facilities are in Bryan/College Station: the St. Joseph Rehabilitation Center in Bryan, and a College Station campus. There are also facilities in Navasota, Caldwell, Madisonville, Hearne and Bellville.

CHI was formed in 1996 when four Catholic Health Systems consolidated. The Colorado-based group has health care facilities in 18 states, including Texas, where it operates the Houston-area St. Luke's system. In all, they currently have 89 hospitals.


The following press release was issued by Sylvania Franciscan Health and Catholic Health Initiatives on Wednesday:

TOLEDO, Ohio and ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (May 21, 2014) – Today Sylvania Franciscan Health (SFH) and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) signed a non-binding letter of intent for SFH to join CHI. The two health care systems will negotiate the terms of the sponsorship agreement with the expectation of reaching an agreement by fall 2014.

The organizations have entered into formal discussions that, if successful, would bring together two strong systems with similar missions, values and long histories of service to the communities they serve.

CHI would become the sole sponsor of Sylvania Franciscan Health, which includes Franciscan Living Communities in Kentucky and Ohio, St. Joseph Health System in the Brazos Valley region of Texas, and the Trinity Health System Region joint venture in Eastern Ohio near the West Virginia border. In this potential agreement, the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, would continue to sponsor their health and human services ministries of Bethany House, Our Lady of Grace, Rosary Care Center, the Sophia Center, and Convent Park Apartments, as well as their education ministry of Lourdes University.

SFH recognizes that the health care industry is rapidly changing and faces a new model – one in which systems are expected to offer integrated systems of care for specific geographical populations. As a result many smaller health systems are joining larger systems in order to expand their care within existing regions.

SFH is in a strong position, having withstood these changes and many more throughout the past years. Integrating with CHI will allow SFH to build on the strength of its health system and better support the expanding health care needs of the communities it serves.

“We are excited about the possibility of joining CHI, whose culture and values are in alignment with those of our Sisters. After a substantial due diligence process to find a potential partner that shares our commitment to patients, as well as the mission of Catholic healthcare, we are confident CHI will enable us to continue our vision as well as the Franciscan charism that is our foundation,” said Sylvania Franciscan Health CEO Jim Pope.

Together, CHI and SFH will navigate the new era of health care and develop innovative ways to build healthier communities.

“We are pleased that Sylvania Franciscan Health wants to be part of the CHI family. SFH’s health ministries in Ohio, Texas, and Kentucky will be strengthened through their alignment with other CHI organizations. The Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, have created a strong foundation for Catholic health care, and our shared values merge to strengthen the delivery of highly reliable, quality care across the system,” said CHI Chief Executive Officer Kevin Lofton.

The transfer of sponsorship will require approvals from the Congregational Minister and General Council of the Sisters of St. Francis and the CHI Board of Stewardship Trustees as well as federal, state and Church authorities.