Ancilla Systems, a Roman Catholic system in Hobart, Ind., last week signed a letter of intent to sell two of its remaining four hospitals to Community Foundation, Munster, Ind., the not-for-profit parent company of 292-bed Community Hospital in Munster.
The hospitals are 188-bed St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago, Ind., and 102-bed St. Mary Medical Center, Hobart. Terms weren't disclosed.
The sale is part of Ancilla's year-old plan to find regional partners for its original roster of five hospitals (Oct. 25, 1999, p. 24).
One such partnership was completed Nov. 1, when Ancilla's 100-bed St. Joseph Community Hospital, Mishawaka, Ind., merged with 310-bed Saint Joseph's Regional Medical Center, South Bend, Ind. (Nov. 6, p. 25). The remaining Ancilla hospitals are 224-bed St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Chicago, and 119-bed St. Mary's Hospital, East St. Louis, Ill.
Ancilla's proposed sale to Community will create a new three-hospital system called the Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana.
Catholic Church officials in Rome must approve the sale, which is expected to close in March.
Beth Kaminski, Ancilla's president and chief executive officer, said the systems have asked Bishop Dale Melczek of the Gary, Ind., diocese, to declare that the two Ancilla hospitals will remain Catholic facilities even after they are sold.
Catholic hospitals must follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, which limit medical procedures, such as some reproductive healthcare services.