Ascension to divest central Alabama facilities to university health system by fall

July 2024

Ascension plans to sell its central Alabama health care facilities to the UAB Health System Authority, an organization that is associated with the University of Alabama System. Ascension and UAB Health System plan to complete the $450 million ownership transfer by fall.

Under the agreement, UAB Health System would assume ownership of all facilities associated with Ascension St. Vincent, including that sub-system's 409-bed flagship medical center, Ascension St. Vincent's Birmingham. Also included in the transaction would be four additional hospitals, a health and wellness facility, a freestanding emergency department, and the imaging centers and outpatient care facilities that are part of Ascension Medical Group.

According to information from Ascension, while UAB Health System's mission is aligned with "the spirit and intention of Ascension to provide holistic care to individuals and communities," under UAB's ownership the facilities no longer would be Catholic, nor would they be required to adhere to theĀ Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

The transaction's closure is pending regulatory approvals, the satisfaction of closing conditions and the Catholic Church's sign-off.

A press release says the agreement is the natural next step in a relationship that Ascension and UAB formalized in 2020, when they formed the UAB/ St. Vincent's Alliance, an affiliation to improve Alabamians' access to high-quality care.

Ascension St. Vincent's CEO and Ascension Senior Vice President Jason Alexander says in the release that given that UAB has 17 owned and affiliated hospitals across Alabama, the Ascension St. Vincent's facilities would be joining a statewide network, which would improve patients' care access.

The press release says that in a time when hospitals are closing across the U.S., UAB has prioritized strengthening Alabama hospitals.

About a year ago, Ascension announced plans to divest its Ascension Providence Health System in Mobile, Alabama, to the Mobile-based University of South Alabama Health Care Authority. Beyond its presence in Birmingham and Mobile, Ascension has a footprint in the region, in communities along the Gulf Coast.


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