Ministry Health Care – and the two other regional health systems that comprise Marian Health System – formally joined Ascension Health, the nation’s largest nonprofit Catholic health system Monday, April 1.
The specific terms of the final agreement were not shared publicly. The merger makes Ministry Health Care a regional ministry of Ascension Health, and means the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother now share a leadership role in Ascension Health with four other religious congregations.
Ministry officials said the merger better positions the company for sustainability in the medical marketplace over the long run, without significantly impacting day-to-day operations.
“One of the reasons we picked Ascension is they have a distributed leadership model,” said Nick Desien, Ministry Health Care president and CEO. “The leaders of different markets are in charge of the decisions in those markets, so we’ll continue to operate as we had… For day-to-day operations, there’s not a major change.”
The health systems first announced plans to enter into the agreement in August 2012, when a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Marian and Ascension Health Alliance of St. Louis, Mo.
“We’re excited to welcome the three health systems of Marian to our national health ministry,” Ascension Health President and CEO Robert J. Henkel said in a statement. “Adding their strengths and expertise to those of Ascension Health creates a combined ministry that is even better able to live our mission of serving all and to position ourselves to meet the needs of our communities.”