Three Roman Catholic hospitals in Iowa and Nebraska will merge under one governing board.
With more than $300 million in total annual revenues and some 640 acute-care beds, Bergan Mercy Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Mercy Hospital in Corning, Iowa, will operate as Bergan Mercy Health System. All three hospitals are sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas of Omaha regional community.
"The change will bring about a focus as one large network rather than as separate hospitals," said Sister Norita Cooney, president of Mercy Midlands, the current parent corporation of the three hospitals.
The effort's goal also is to be a more cost-effective integrated delivery system. "This required that Mercy Midlands rethink the way it provides services and the ways it is organizationally structured," the hospitals said in a statement.
The hospitals also said they are answering a call by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas national headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., to have 10-member boards govern their regional systems.
The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas already own the hospitals. The number of board members from the hospitals will be reduced to 10 from a total of 17. An advisory board at Mercy in Corning will remain, however.
Executives said making decisions through one board will allow the hospitals to better serve eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa.
The board's first order of business will be how to structure the new system's management structure. Executives wouldn't comment on whether positions may be eliminated, saying it was too early to tell.