Hospital Sisters Health System of Springfield, Ill., has acquired the Community Memorial Hospital critical access hospital in Oconto Falls, Wis., and has renamed it HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital.
A company called Community Memorial Hospital had owned the 25-bed nonprofit facility and a community board of directors had managed it. In May 2011, the owners had entered into an affiliation agreement with Hospital Sisters Health System that made the Catholic system a minority shareholder and that placed two system representatives on the hospital's board. The organizations had entered into the affiliation agreement "in an effort to enhance physician recruitment, implement an electronic medical record system and improve the delivery of health care to the community," according to Therese Pandl, president and chief executive of Hospital Sisters Health System's Eastern Wisconsin Division.
Therese Pandl, president and chief executive of Hospital Sisters Health System's Eastern Wisconsin Division, speaks during a ceremony to unveil the Oconto Falls, Wis., hospital's new name and logo.
She said that after three years of affiliating with the system, "the Community Memorial Hospital board approached HSHS to take the affiliation to this final step. The board handpicked HSHS, who they felt would be a good partner for the future."
Pandl said joining Hospital Sisters Health System will give Community Memorial Hospital access to the benefits a larger system brings. For instance, more specialty offerings, new trauma care services and new renal dialysis services now will be coming to Oconto Falls.
No money changed hands in the acquisition, according to Pandl. The formerly secular Oconto Falls hospital is now Catholic and abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
Oconto Falls is about 30 miles north of Green Bay, Wis. Hospital Sisters Health System has 14 hospitals, six of them in Wisconsin.
The Oconto Falls hospital now is named for a saint "who devoted her life to solitude, prayer and service. Her legacy reflects the commitment of our newest health care ministry to serve residents in Oconto Falls and surrounding communities," Mary Starmann-Harrison said in a release. She is president and chief executive of Hospital Sisters Health System. St. Clare is considered "co-founder" of the Franciscan movement with St. Francis of Assisi.
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