St. Anthony's Medical Center in St. Louis will join the Chesterfield, Mo.-based Mercy system, under an affiliation agreement the organizations plan to complete in the spring. The affiliation will be a transfer of sponsorship to Mercy; and Mercy will become the facility's owner, said Donn Sorensen, president of Mercy's east region.
A main entrance to St. Anthony's Medical Center in St. Louis.
St. Anthony's is an independent, 767-bed Catholic facility with 3,466 associates and a medical staff of 662 physicians — 118 of whom are employed directly by St. Anthony's — and 163 allied health providers. It will be Mercy's fifth acute care hospital in the greater St. Louis region. Mercy currently has 43 specialty and acute care hospitals in four states.
The affiliation will provide St. Anthony's with access to Mercy's "extensive network of resources and services, strengthening our ability to improve community health," David Sindelar, St. Anthony's chief executive and board chair, said in a release.
Sorensen said Mercy will retain St. Anthony's board as a community board. The St. Anthony's board will retain its fiduciary power, and Mercy will hold reserve powers, according to information from Mercy. Sorensen will join St. Anthony's board; and St. Anthony's will have representation on the Mercy east Missouri region board. Mercy's eastern Missouri region currently includes an 859-bed hospital in St. Louis; 187-bed hospital in Washington; 251-bed hospital in Crystal City; 25-bed critical access hospital in Troy; and Mercy Clinic, a 729-member multispecialty physician organization.
Sorensen said the archbishop of St. Louis supports the affiliation. The affiliation requires the approval of the Federal Trade Commission. If the deal is approved and the affiliation is completed, Mercy will begin a community master planning process. It will meet with St. Anthony's stakeholders including community leaders, business leaders, physicians, executives and associates to assess the needs of the hospital and community, said Sorensen. Sindelar told St. Anthony's empoyees in an internal memo that Mercy will invest $300 million over seven years in St. Anthony's.
Sorensen said there are many strong synergies between Mercy and St. Anthony's, including the faith-based heritage of both organizations. St. Anthony's was founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Germany in 1900. The sisters transferred ownership and control of the hospital to a board of community leaders in 1967. In 1975, St. Anthony's moved to its current location in south St. Louis County. The Mercy system facilities were founded by the Sisters of Mercy and came together as a system in 1986.
Mercy and St. Anthony's have collaborated in the past. Together with St. Louis' St. Luke's Hospital, they formed Unity Health System in 1995. St. Anthony's exited the system in 2000, followed by St. Luke's. Unity Health now is defunct.
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