HARTFORD – St. Francis Care Inc. has announced that it plans to join Ascension Health Care Network, an affiliate of Ascension Health Alliance, the largest Catholic health system in the nation.
Both organizations have signed a letter of intent to open the way for St. Francis to join "with the vision of building a statewide, clinically integrated health care delivery system composed of high-quality providers committed to delivering an unequaled combination of healthcare quality and community value to residents across Connecticut," according to a joint press release dated Jan. 16.
"We are very pleased that we and Ascension Health Care Network are pursuing the opportunity to join together," said Christopher Dadlez, president and chief executive officer of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.
St. Francis Care is the parent organization of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.
"This step follows a thorough examination of how best to ensure that the people we serve in our communities continue to receive a lifetime of the very best care possible," said Mr. Dadlez.
Leo P. Brideau, president and CEO of the Missouri-based Ascension Health Care Network, called the move an important step in advancing both entities’ missions.
"We share a common goal of providing high-quality, efficient care that responds to people’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs while aggressively advocating for the well-being of our patients and their families, and ensuring healthcare is available to those who are poor and vulnerable. We believe this relationship has the potential to improve healthcare at both the state and regional level."
If an agreement is finalized, St. Francis Care will become part of Ascension Health Care Network, an organization dedicated to strengthening Catholic health care in the United States and committed to providing care for the underserved in our communities. Ascension Health Care Network is a for-profit, taxable organization.
Specific terms of the letter of intent agreement are confidential, the press release said.
An effort to merge St. Mary’s Hospital and Waterbury Hospital fell apart last October following months of negotiations.
The Hospital of St. Raphael and Yale New Haven Hospital, both in New Haven, also signed on to a merger last year.
St. Francis Hospital, the largest Catholic hospital in New England, was established in 1897 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambéry. Ascension Health Care Network is the nation’s first for-profit Catholic health care system.