St John Medical Center ownership transfers to UH

Ownership of St. John Medical Center, which for the past 5 years was shared between Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals, will transfer solely to UH in two months, pending regulatory approval. Photo courtesy St. John Medical Center

The Sisters of Charity Health System (SCHS) and University Hospitals (UH) have signed an agreement to transfer sole ownership of St. John Medical Center in Westlake to UH. The announcement follows a five-year agreement under which UH was the managing member of their co-ownership of the hospital. The agreement is expected to be finalized within 60 days, subject to regulatory review.

St. John Medical Center is a 204-bed, full-service, nonprofit, acute care hospital providing comprehensive health care to residents of western Cuyahoga and eastern Lorain counties. The medical center, which has been co-owned by UH and SCHS since 1999, is a leading provider of Catholic health care.

The legacy of Catholic health care at St. John Medical Center will be continued through a commitment by UH to be accountable to the Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland. UH leadership will work with the Bishop to create a mission and values committee to ensure that all of the vital components of the hospital’s Catholic identity continue.

“St. John Medical Center continues our commitment of faith-filled service to the west side community, which started when the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine became the administrators of St. John Hospital in 1916. We have faith the Catholic mission of St. John will remain. The mission, values and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine are truly ingrained into every employee at St. John,” said Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, which created the Sisters of Charity Health System and its ministries. “We are deeply grateful to the many physicians, employees and volunteers of St. John for their dedication to providing quality health care to the community. This is truly a special ministry that we will forever hold in our hearts and prayers.”

“The Sisters of Charity Health System sees this as an important opportunity to grow and expand St. John Medical Center as a cornerstone of UH’s system, and also continue the provision of high-quality Catholic health care for the west side,” said Terrence Kessler, President and CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

“St. John is a flagship hospital of the overall UH plan to best meet the health care needs of the region, combining the healing ministry of SCHS and the high-quality services of UH,” said Thomas F. Zenty III, Chief Executive Officer of UH. “We see full ownership by UH as the next logical step in the progress of our shared vision. We have the deepest respect for the healing ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System and look to sustain this legacy of care far into the future by bringing new programs and services to St. John while integrating care with our other hospitals and facilities in the area. The transition will be seamless because of our long-standing relationship with SCHS and St. John.”

During the past five years, both SCHS and UH have made equal investments in the strategic expansion and growth of St. John Medical Center, and both members are pleased with the positive growth of the hospital as it continues to be a leading health care provider in the Westside community.

SCHS and UH leaders recognize there is an opportunity to support new strategies and invest carefully to grow this important Catholic health care ministry. Key elements of making St. John Medical Center successful into the future include: continuing and advancing innovative physician alignments, applying new technologies to best serve patients, continuing to provide a quality workplace for employees, identifying new reimbursement models and adjusting to changes created by health care reform.

“Since 1999, St. John Medical Center and our community have enjoyed the strong leadership of both SCHS and UH,” said William A. Young Jr., President and CEO of St. John Medical Center. “With today’s announcement, we look forward to this new alignment with University Hospitals. We will continue serving as a health care leader on Cleveland’s Westside and fulfilling our Catholic heritage in service of our mission.”

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Volume 7, Issue 17, Posted 8:44 AM, 09.01.2015