SMP Health System forms public juridic person

December 1, 2015


The SMP Health System has created a public juridic person called SMP Health Ministry to oversee its Catholic mission and ensure that its work continues to be done according to Catholic principles. The health care system has facilities in central and eastern North Dakota and central Illinois.

Sr. Stahl
Sr. Suzanne Stahl, provincial of the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation and president of SMP Health Ministry, said in November that the congregation of the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation moved forward with a PJP because the health care system wanted to plan for the future and to continue with its charism, which primarily is to respond to unmet needs in rural communities. The religious order, founded in 1828 in France, has 26 women religious in the United States, as well as sisters in Canada, Belgium, France and Cameroon. A PJP structure allows members of the laity to serve as sponsors of the health system.

Sr. Stahl said the system explored alternatives to operating the system on its own, but they weren't feasible. She said the health care system is thriving but operates on thin margins, so there was concern about costs associated with joining a large Catholic health care system. Also, she said exploration was done to consider a hub-and-spoke model of providing health care, where a larger regional facility could serve as a hub. She said that most of SMP's facilities are located in such remote locations that such a model didn't make sense.

The new PJP, which began July 1, allows the system to maintain "its Catholic identity into the future," she said.

The Fargo, N.D.-based health care system includes two locations in that city, the 140-bed Villa Maria skilled long-term care facility and the 125-bed long-term care and skilled nursing facility Rosewood on Broadway. Outside of Fargo, the 170-bed Sheyenne Care Center in Valley City, N.D., is a skilled nursing facility with a geriatric psychiatric unit and a dementia unit. The system also includes the 54-bed Maryhill Manor in Enderlin, N.D., and the 100-bed post-acute rehabilitation and long-term care facility Ave Maria Village in Jamestown, N.D. That campus also includes senior living apartments.

The system owns three 25-bed critical access hospitals: Presentation Medical Center in Rolla, N.D.; St. Aloisius Medical Center in Harvey, N.D., which includes a 92-bed skilled nursing facility and senior housing; and St. Andrew's Health Center in Bottineau, N.D., where there is also senior housing.

In central Illinois, the system includes St. Margaret's Health in Spring Valley, which, in addition to a 57-bed community hospital, includes senior housing and 14 clinics.

Its Prairieland Homecare in Spring Valley, Ill., is a home care agency.

The four members of the PJP also serve on the Board of Directors for Sisters of Mary of the Presentation Health System. In addition to Sr. Stahl, they include two other leaders with the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation, Sr. Carol Jean Kuntz and Sr. Elaine Lange, and Terry Judd, a commercial real estate businessman with many years on the board of directors for St. Margaret's Health and SMP Health System.


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