Emory and Saint Joseph's of Atlanta to form joint operating company

April 1, 2011

Emory Healthcare and Saint Joseph's Hospital, both of Atlanta, plan to form a partnership later this year that Saint Joseph's top administrator said will help the organizations to "tackle the changing landscape of health care and create an even better and more innovative clinical care delivery model."

Paul Johnson, Saint Joseph's chief executive, said the partnership "gives Saint Joseph's a local affiliation for collaboration in the Atlanta area. (It also) brings opportunities to create essential efficiencies, expand information technology, share clinical care best practices to improve care and provide even greater value to patients in the years ahead."

The proposed partnership would unite the two not-for-profit health care providers under a joint operating company structure. Emory is a regional health system with five hospitals, a health center, clinic, and spine hospital. It is part of the Robert Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University.

Saint Joseph's is a 410-bed acute care hospital with a physician group, indigent services arm and research facilities. Saint Joseph's is part of Newtown Square, Pa.-based Catholic Health East. It is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.

Saint Joseph's has been seeking a buyer. It had negotiated unsuccessfully with Emory on a joint operating model in the fall. According to a press release issued jointly by Saint Joseph's and Emory, the deal announced in mid-March is not an acquisition of Saint Joseph's. The financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed at this time. According to the press release, the deal would give Emory 51 percent ownership of Saint Joseph's. Saint Joseph's staff would become employees of Emory. Saint Joseph's would not get a stake in any of Emory's other health care properties.

Saint Joseph's anticipates it would remain a Catholic facility under the sisters' sponsorship, and the hospital would retain super-majority voting rights on issues related to its Catholic identity.

Emory and Saint Joseph's will seek approvals from regulators, Atlanta's archbishop and others. The deal could take place as early as summer.


Copyright © 2011 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.