SSM Health Care, St. Louis, announced a deal to unload a struggling suburban Chicago hospital that the system previously announced it would close.
SSM said an agreement was signed to transfer ownership of 282-bed St. Francis Hospital & Health Center in Blue Island to MSMC Investors, a holding company for Chicago-based Transition Healthcare Co. and its financial backers, Falcon Investors in Harrison, N.Y.
The transfer is subject to approval by the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board but is expected to go through in 60 to 90 days, and the hospital will be renamed MetroSouth Medical Center. The parties agreed to keep the terms confidential. According to a jointly issued news release, Transition Healthcare has committed to investing $30 million in new equipment and facility upgrades.
The Franciscan Sisters of Mary, SSM’s Catholic sponsor, have operated the Blue Island hospital since 1905. Transition Healthcare, a for-profit startup led by former Ascension Health executive Arnold Kimmel, in March dropped an earlier bid to buy St. Francis Hospital because a different partner backed out. In April, SSM officials said they would close the hospital, citing $40 million in losses since 2002 and a failure to find a buyer. -- by Gregg Blesch