“Holy Cross Hospital's potential partnership with Vanguard was a bold, innovative venture that did not work out when economic conditions shifted,” he said in a statement.
Vanguard released a brief statement on the matter: “The definitive agreement signed by Vanguard and the Sisters expired on June 30 and has not been renewed.”
The economy has forced many Catholic hospitals across the country to make tough decisions. Vanguard last year acquired two suburban Chicago hospitals from Catholic provider Resurrection Health Care in Chicago for $45.4 million. In July, Health Management Associates of Naples, Fla. Agreed to buy Mercy Health Partners-Tennessee for $525 million. The seven-hospital system based in Knoxville, Tenn., was a subsidiary of Catholic Health Partners of Cincinnati. Allowing an entity like Vanguard to purchase their facility may lessen financial woes, but the shift may risk a hospital's faith-based identity and principles.
Holy Cross hospital is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Casimir in Chicago. Financial terms of the proposed deal between Holy Cross and Vanguard were never disclosed, but under the transition from not-for-profit to profit, and Vanguard was to continue to operate the hospital under the tenets of Catholic care.
“Vanguard's stewardship will remove the financial clouds that have threatened the hospital's future and our new partner will invest a significant amount in sorely needed infrastructure improvements,” Sister Immacula Wendt, general superior of the Sisters of St. Casimir, said in December.
Holy Cross officials on Friday maintained they're committed to staying open, noting an expanded emergency department and a family birthing center as signs of their commitment.