Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, a holding company that owns a number of healthcare related facilities in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois, plans to transfer ownership of its southeast Wisconsin operations to Ascension, the holding company that owns Columbia St. Mary’s.
Ascension announced that it signed a letter of intent with the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters to take over all of its operations and corporate services in southeast Wisconsin, which includes 27 hospitals and 150 clinics that employ 24,000 associates. Those entities generated an annual operating revenue of $3.5 billion, according to a joint press release by Ascension and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.
A definitive agreement and the transfer is expected to be completed in early 2016.
“This decision came after a lengthy discernment process by the Sisters as we are aging and our numbers are getting smaller in the United States,” said Sister Pat Norton, chair of the sponsor member board for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. “We wanted to transfer our corporate ministries while these ministries are healthy, fiscally sound and have a strong sense of mission and values. The choice to transfer our ministries ensures that the needs of the times will continue to be addressed in each community, as the Sisters have worked to do for more than 140 years.”
The healthcare organization gave $139 million in charity care and other community benefits in southeast Wisconsin.
“Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and Ascension share the same Mission — caring for all persons, especially those who are struggling the most,” said Robert J. Henkel, executive vice president of Ascension and president and chief executive officer for Ascension Health. “We share the same approach to serving our communities — providing compassionate, personalized care to all throughout their life.”
The transfer includes: Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare — All Saints, Wheaton Franciscan — Elmbrook Memorial, St. Joseph, Midwest Spine and Orthopedic Hospital, Wisconsin Heart Hospital, Wheaton Franciscan Health — St. Francis and Franklin Hospitals, and Midwest Specialty Hospital, which is a joint venture in Franklin, Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group, outpatient centers, home health and hospice, and three transitional and extended care facilities, according to a press release by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.
“We look forward to our continued discussions with Ascension and the opportunity to be part of an organization that shares our strong commitment to our local communities,” said John Oliverio, president and chief executive officer for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.