A new Roman Catholic healthcare system, involving seven hospitals in suburban Chicago and central Illinois, is taking shape.
The hospitals' three parent systems will continue discussions for six to nine months before making a final proposal to their sponsoring congregations. A memorandum of understanding to form a new system was signed late last month.
The parent systems are Franciscan Sisters Health Care Corp., Frankfort, Ill.; Mercy Center for Health Care Services, Aurora, Ill.; and ServantCor, Kankakee, Ill.
Together they operate seven hospitals with 2,000 staffed beds, 11 long-term-care and residential-care facilities, 38 off-site clinics and six home health agencies.
They reported combined net income of $47 million on revenues of $675 million in 1996 and assets of $958 million.
The congregations want to strengthen Catholic healthcare in Illinois, said Linda Simon, vice president of corporate marketing and planning for Franciscan Sisters. "Many of these organizations are going to be just too small to stand on their own," Simon said. "Eventually, we would hope to more fully collaborate with Catholic networks in Chicago."
A name for the proposed system hasn't been selected. Its benefits will include improved quality of care, greater access to capital, enhanced managed-care contracting and potential economies of scale, Simon said.
Each of the involved hospitals-except one-competes directly against another private hospital in its city that either is larger in bed count or belongs to a large Chicago-based system, according to the 1996 American Hospital Association Guide. The exception is 334-bed United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, where a large Veterans Affairs medical center operates.
The other hospitals involved in the proposed system are 205-bed Saint Joseph Hospital in Elgin; 268-bed Covenant Medical Center in Urbana; 250-bed Mercy Center in Aurora; 500-bed Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet; 212-bed St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee; and 254-bed Saint Therese Medical Center in Waukegan.