Ascension Health acquired 50% of Via Christi Health System, Wichita, Kan., in a deal spurred by the merger of seven religious orders. Marian Health System, a 15-hospital system based in Tulsa, Okla., retains its 50% stake in three-hospital Via Christi.
Via Christi and St. Louis-based Ascension were previously sponsored by two of seven orders that merged to form the Congregation of St. Joseph. The newly created Congregation of St. Joseph, which consolidated its healthcare assets under Ascension, is now one of the 64-hospital health systems six sponsors. Ascension and its sponsors will gain seats on Via Christis board in October, said Peg Tichacek, a Via Christi spokeswoman.
Via Christi reported 2006 operating income of $39.8 million off operating revenue of $1.19 billion. Ascension reported operating income of $497.8 million off operating revenue of $11.4 billion the same year. Via Christi will not gain access to capital via Ascension in the deal, Tichacek said. -- by Melanie Evans