Avera Sacred Heart Hospital of Yankton, S.D., has purchased Creighton Area Health Services of Creighton, Neb., a rural health network that includes a 23-bed critical access hospital, a 47-bed long-term care facility, a wellness center and two clinics.
Avera Sacred Heart is paying $5.5 million this year to cover debts associated with recent additions and remodeling projects at Creighton facilities. The buyer plans to invest an additional $1.5 million by 2015 on capital improvements.
With the ownership change, the Creighton hospital now abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, offers pastoral care and incorporates into its operations spiritual practices, including prayer before meetings. The main campus now is called Avera Creighton Hospital, and other facilities in the network also have added "Avera" to their name. A Creighton advisory board provides input on local needs.
Avera Sacred Heart has managed the Creighton hospital since late 2009, around when the Nebraska facility's board approached Avera about joining that system.
Administrators of Avera Sacred Heart and Creighton said the acquisition will strengthen the Creighton network, enable it to expand the coverage of its outpatient clinics and improve Avera Creighton Hospital's services.
Sr. Elena Hoye, PBVM, vice president of mission for Avera Sacred Heart, said the acquisition enables Avera to continue its mission "to ensure that people in rural communities have access to high-quality health care where they live, backed up by the resources of the region's largest health care system."
She added, "Even though there are ongoing challenges in providing this health care to rural and frontier counties, Avera believes that this is our unique calling."
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