St. Louis-based Ascension has formed a new unit, Ascension Holdings International, to expand the system's portfolio internationally.
The unit will select regions based on population, safety, stability and business environment, according to a news release. The Catholic system will also collaborate with other faith-based providers located internationally.
Information regarding potential investment, partners and projected financial return were not disclosed.
Ascension Holdings International will be part of subsidiary Ascension Holdings, which includes TriMedx, a medical equipment manager, and eProtex, a compliance and security service for medical devices.
John Doyle, president and CEO of Ascension Holdings, will also serve as CEO of Ascension Holdings International.
Ascension has been considering expanding internationally for several years. It dipped into international waters with a joint venture, Health City Cayman Islands, between Ascension and India's Narayana Health.
Dr. Jim Bonnette will serve as managing director of international relationship development at the new international unit. He was executive vice president of strategy consulting at the Advisory Board, a research and consulting firm.
Phoebe Yang will serve as managing director of international strategic design and implementation. Most recently, Yang was chief strategy officer at MissionPoint Health Partners, a population health management organization that is part of Ascension.
Other health systems that have expanded services overseas include University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Partners Healthcare in Boston, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and the Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic, which all partner with providers in other countries to deliver care.
Ascension reported strong financial growth in 2015. The system reported a $696.5 million operating surplus on $20.5 billion in operating revenue compared with $598.7 million operating surplus on $19.9 billion in revenue in 2014. Ascension operates 141 hospitals in 24 states.