Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said the Catholic-sponsored Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System can proceed with plans to become the sole sponsor of Exempla Healthcare in Denver despite the Exempla boards official objection. Exempla has opposed the change on religious and financial grounds. In a letter to Exempla employees, Exempla President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Selberg said that the board continues to believe that the sponsors must keep their original commitment to maintain the heritage and values of each individual hospital in the three-hospital Exempla system. Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by concerned citizens and others on Dec. 20 will apparently delay closure of the deal until a judge rules on it, and then only if the judge does not grant the injunction sought by the plaintiffs, Selberg said, adding that he hoped that all the affected parties could identify other alternatives that will leave the hospital services provided intact at 543-bed Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, Wheat Ridge, Colo., and 172-bed Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center, Lafayette, Colo.
Under the terms of the proposed deal, the nine-hospital Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, Lenexa, Kan., would buy out three-hospital Exemplas co-sponsor, the Community First Foundation, for $311 million. The Sisters of Charity also agreed to invest $300 million in Exempla, which would help to build a replacement hospital for 436-bed Exempla St. Joseph Hospital, Denver. -- by Cinda Becker
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