Catholic Health Initiatives, Texas Heart Institute pursue partnership agreement

October 1, 2013

Catholic Health Initiatives and the Texas Heart Institute said on Sept. 16 they have entered into exclusive negotiations toward a new partnership for research and education on cardiovascular diseases to be funded by $220 million over the next decade. They will negotiate the terms during this period of exclusivity and expect to have an agreement finalized Dec. 1, the organizations said.

St. Luke's Episcopal Health System, a six-hospital health system in the Houston region, previously had an affiliation with the Texas Heart Institute, which was founded by renowned cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Denton A. Cooley in 1962 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the toll of cardiovascular disease. The heart institute's offices and research labs are in the Denton A. Cooley building on the St. Luke's Medical Center campus.

Englewood, Colo.-based CHI, a Catholic, nonprofit health system, acquired St. Luke's Episcopal Health System in a deal that was finalized May 31. It renamed the system St. Luke's Health System and CHI's President and Chief Executive Kevin Lofton said at the time that CHI would operate the facilities as nonprofit Catholic hospitals.

The Texas Heart Institute had filed suit against St. Luke's in state District Court in May to try to dissolve the Texas Heart Institute's contract with St. Luke's Medical Center.

However, as a result of the letter of intent to negotiate a partnership with CHI, the heart institute dropped its lawsuit against St. Luke's, the organizations said in a statement.

Cooley, the president-emeritus of the Texas Heart Institute, said in a statement that together the organizations can advance the vital research and education missions for which the heart institute was founded.

Lofton said, "A partnership with THI (Texas Heart Institute) will play a vital role in our effort to achieve health care's triple aim of improving the patient experience, improving the health of the populations we serve and reducing health care costs."

As part of the agreement, the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, which transferred the St. Luke's system to CHI, will provide CHI with $50 million toward the research and education work of the heart institute. The transfer of St. Luke's allowed the Episcopal diocese to create a new Episcopal Health Foundation to address the widening gap in health care across a 57-county area in Texas. In addition, CHI said it will fund more than $170 million in research and education at the heart institute over the next 10 years.

CHI operates in 18 states. It includes 87 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted living and residential facilities; two academic medical centers; two community health services organizations; two nursing colleges and home health agencies. It has annual operating revenue of more than $12 billion and about 85,500 employees.

The Texas Heart Institute also is affiliated with the University of Texas System.


Copyright © 2013 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2013 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.