Saint Raphael and Yale-New Haven pursue partnership

April 15, 2011

Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael announced last month that they had signed a letter of intent to formally explore integration. As envisioned, Yale-New Haven would acquire most of the assets of the Hospital of Saint Raphael, producing one integrated hospital on two campuses in New Haven, Conn.

Saint Raphael would continue operations as the Saint Raphael campus and would continue to provide medical care according to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, said Geri Johnson-Reis, a spokeswoman for Saint Raphael. However, she added, following the proposed acquisition by Yale-New Haven, Saint Raphael would not be officially designated as a Catholic hospital. The sponsoring sisters would have an ongoing presence in the hospital, she said.

Sr. Maureen Shaughnessy, SC, is general superior of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, Saint Raphael's sponsoring organization, and she chairs the hospital's board. She said the sponsors "are in full support of exploring the proposed integration" because it focuses on "ensuring continued access to excellent care for this community and would respect the tradition of faith-based care consistent with Catholic teaching at the Saint Raphael campus."

The 511-bed Saint Raphael considered national and state-based hospitals and systems before coming to the preliminary agreement with Yale-New Haven.

Both Saint Raphael and Yale-New Haven are teaching hospitals for the Yale University School of Medicine. Yale-New Haven, a 966-bed hospital, is the primary teaching hospital for the medical school.

"Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael share a commitment to the health care needs in our community," Johnson-Reis said. "Integrating the two hospitals ensures the decision making for New Haven's health care remains in New Haven."

Yale-New Haven and Saint Raphael are the only hospitals in the city of New Haven. If a definitive agreement is reached to combine the hospitals, the transaction would be subject to state and federal regulatory approval.

Christopher M. O'Connor, Saint Raphael's president and chief executive, said the proposed transaction would bring "financial stability to Saint Raphael, and help Yale-New Haven address capacity issues by better utilizing both campuses."

Under the proposal, Yale-New Haven would make about $135 million in capital improvements to the Saint Raphael campus in the initial five years after integration. A joint release from the two hospitals said that since Yale-New Haven plans to grow clinical services on the Saint Raphael campus, the majority of Saint Raphael's staff likely would be retained under the proposed ownership structure.

Yale-New Haven has agreed to meet certain liabilities associated with Saint Raphael's frozen pension plan and to recognize the Teamsters as the bargaining agent for Saint Raphael employees represented by the union.

Marna P. Borgstrom, president and chief executive of Yale-New Haven, said the proposed integration would allow the parties to enhance access to high-quality care while providing care more cost-effectively — goals that would put them in a better position for health reform.

 

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