Two hospitals in Manhattan, Kan., have announced they will combine and create a new corporation to run both hospitals.
Saint Mary Hospital and Memorial Hospital will be operated by a new board of directors that will lease both hospitals from their owners, Via Christi Health System and Riley County, respectively.
Mike Nunamaker, chief executive of Memorial, said the affiliation arose out of "the longstanding recognition that Manhattan really is too small to accommodate two acute-care facilities."
Saint Mary has 106 licensed beds and Memorial has 81. The hospitals have thought about merging for many years. The time was finally right, Nunamaker said, because "the environment around us is rapidly changing and we need to become more efficient." Many services will probably be consolidated, but it's too soon to say which ones.
The Justice Department has approved the arrangement, Nunamaker said. A new name for the joint hospital has yet to be chosen. Riley County voters don't need to approve the affiliation.