Three-hospital St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Covington, Ky., confirmed it will leave 29-hospital Catholic Healthcare Partners, Cincinnati, by year-end and will conclude its 6-year-old affiliation with CHP's five-hospital Mercy Health Partners, also based in Cincinnati. St. Elizabeth, which serves metropolitan Cincinnati, is owned by the Covington Diocese while CHP is owned by five orders of nuns. Unlike other CHP members, St. Elizabeth never merged its assets with the larger Catholic system. With no financial integration, "There's nothing to undo," CHP spokesman Greg Smith said. "We look forward to working with St. Elizabeth as collaborators, rather than affiliation partners. We've always recognized the opportunity for disassociation was there." In a written statement, St. Elizabeth's president and chief executive officer, Joseph Gross, said the affiliation has been mutually beneficial. "Our board's decision to return to independent status is simply a business judgment that was an option envisioned when we first entered into our agreement in 1998," Gross said. St. Elizabeth spokeswoman Karla Webb said the system "would not go into details" about its reasons for leaving CHP. -- by Mark Taylor
Cincinnati-area system to leave CHP by year-end
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