MORRIS, Ill.-Morris Hospital here might be the first non-Catholic hospital to merge with a new Roman Catholic healthcare system moving toward completion in Illinois. The 82-bed, stand-alone, not-for-profit hospital is 20 miles away from 500-bed Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill. Saint Joseph's parent, Franciscan Sisters Health Care Corp. of Frankfort, Ill., signed a memorandum of understanding with Morris to explore "collaborative arrangements" including a merger. Meanwhile, Franciscan has agreed to a $1 billion merger with two other Catholic systems, Mercy Center for Health Care Services, Aurora, Ill., and ServantCor, Kankakee, Ill. (July 28, p. 21). Executives at Morris, which had $38 million in net patient revenues in 1996, will decide its future alliance with Saint Joseph in the next four months. The three Catholic systems are expected to complete their deal by the end of October. Combined, the three systems had $675 million in net patient revenues in 1996.
ST. LOUIS-SSM Health Care System has unveiled a new corporate identity program to merge the identities of SSM and the St. Louis Health Care Network. Now called SSM Health Care, the network is the third-largest hospital consortium in the region. The system's national corporate office, also in St. Louis, will start using the new name and modified logo at the same time. The name change and logo are designed to symbolize a "mind-set of unity and collaboration." SSM Health Care is one of the largest Catholic healthcare organizations in the U.S. It owns, operates or manages 22 acute-care hospitals in six states-Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin-and employs 20,500 people. The name change will be unveiled in other markets later. SSM Health Care is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, the reunited congregation of the Sisters of St. Mary and the Sisters of St. Francis of Maryville, Mo. "We retain SSM in our name in recognition of the contributions of the Sisters of St. Mary, who founded and built the original ministry," said Sister Mary Jean Ryan, president and chief executive officer of SSM.
ST. LOUIS-St. Anthony's Medical Center has applied for permission from the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee to renovate its emergency department for $8.9 million. It intends to renovate patient floors for another $10.2 million, but that project doesn't require state approval. St. Anthony's is part of Unity Health System, the St. Louis operating unit of Sisters of Mercy Health System-St. Louis. The hospital, one of the largest in the region, has 808 acute-care beds and 126 skilled-nursing and rehabilitation beds.
SEDALIA, Mo.-Bothwell Regional Health Center will spend $22 million to build and renovate 93,000 square feet of outpatient and inpatient space. At the same time, the hospital will delicense 42 of its 147 beds. The project is designed to improve access and circulation patterns for outpatient care. The hospital will use reserves to pay for part of the project. Efficiencies from the reconstruction should allow future price increases to stay at 3% to 4% a year, the hospital said. The project, already approved by the state certificate-of-need board, is expected to be completed in 1999.