CHICAGO—Sinai Health System CEO Alan Channing has a preliminary agreement to combine his historic hospital with Holy Cross Hospital, creating a safety net giant with estimated annual revenue of more than $525 million. The deal is an unlikely union, reached after Cardinal Francis George failed to persuade other Catholic hospitals to take over Holy Cross, which is on the city's southwest side. The 290-bed Mount Sinai Hospital was founded in 1919 on the city's west side to serve Jewish immigrants and is an affiliate of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Holy Cross was founded nine years later by an order of nuns with strong ties to Lithuania. After the transaction closes, the Sisters of St. Casimir will have limited authority over the practices of the 282-bed hospital to make sure it adheres to Catholic teachings on abortion and contraception. Serving large numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients, Holy Cross has struggled financially and has been looking for a partner for years. Last year, Nashville-based Vanguard Health Systems killed a deal to pay up to $18.7 million for Holy Cross. Sinai was on the brink of closing 10 years ago but seemingly has learned the necessary survival skills. Sinai and Holy Cross have signed a letter of intent, with plans to close the transaction by year-end. By expanding, Sinai could increase its share of the roughly 750,000 people in the Chicago area who are projected to get private health insurance as a result of the federal healthcare overhaul. “Our vision is to be the national model of how urban healthcare is delivered,” Channing said.
—Crain's Chicago Business