St. Louis-based Ascension withdrew as one of three sponsors of Catholic Health, a four-hospital health care system based in Buffalo that serves Western New York. The health care system remains Catholic, and there was no financial transaction made in connection with the decision, according to information on May 1 from Catholic Health.
When Catholic Health formed in 1998, it was jointly sponsored by the Diocese of Buffalo, Ascension and Catholic Health East, which is now part of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health.
Joe McDonald, president and chief executive of Catholic Health, said his system appreciated Ascension's support for almost two decades. "As health care continues to evolve, so do the relationships we share with our corporate members and sponsors. This change will have no effect on our patients, associates or physicians and will in no way diminish our faith-based mission to serve those in need, which will continue under the sponsorship of the Diocese of Buffalo and Trinity Health," he said in a statement.
Catholic Health said in a question and answer document about the change that having two corporate sponsors rather than three going forward may simplify decision-making at the corporate level. The health care system said it can still purchase services from Ascension and likely will continue to have business contracts with Ascension.
The term of Ascension's representative on the Catholic Health board ended on May 1.
Catholic Health said it serves nearly half a million patients annually in its facilities. Its hospitals are Kenmore Mercy Hospital in Kenmore, N.Y.; Mercy Hospital of Buffalo; Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston, N.Y.; and Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo and its St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga, N.Y.
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