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HARTFORD – St. Francis Care is now a member of Trinity Health. With the closing of their agreement to unite, Trinity Health and St. Francis are establishing a new not-for-profit regional health system in New England, according to a press release issued Oct. 1.

Christopher M. Dadlez, president and CEO of St. Francis Care is president and CEO of the new, yet-to-be-named New England region entity.

St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital and other St. Francis entities will provide care under the umbrella of the new Trinity Health region in New England, as will the Sisters of Providence Health System in Springfield, Mass., and its subsidiaries.

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, who is on board of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, expressed happiness about the alliance in a statement issued Oct. 1.

“Throughout its long history, St. Francis Hospital has been committed to providing the best quality health care, and doing so in keeping with its Catholic identity. The newly announced strategic partnership with Trinity Health makes it possible for this mission not only to continue, but to grow. St. Francis will be better positioned to meet today’s challenges in the medical field, and at the same time to operate in accordance with the moral, ethical and social teachings of the church,” said Archbishop Blair in the statement. “This is very much in keeping with Pope Francis’ call to live the corporal works of mercy, among which caring for the sick has a very special place. My congratulations go to St. Francis Care and Trinity Health.”

Daniel P. Moen will continue to serve as president and CEO of Sisters of Providence Health System, as well as have a significant role in the regional system.

“Trinity Health is committed to strengthening Catholic health care locally and nationally through the delivery of people-centered care," said Dr. Richard J. Gilfillan, president and CEO of Trinity Health. "We are now taking that commitment further with the help of a new region that joins St. Francis Care with Sisters of Providence Health System in our shared, faith-based mission to serve the people and communities of New England."

The strengths that St. Francis brings to the region and to Trinity Health relate to expertise in clinical integration and are expected to result in better care coordination for New Englanders. These strengths will also provide models that can be shared across the Trinity Health system.

“This is a historic day for St. Francis, our patients, employees, physicians and community,” said Mr. Dadlez. "Our aligned mission, vision and core values have guided this alliance since the inception of our discussions and we are confident that together, Trinity Health, St. Francis and the region's other partners will deliver the greatest opportunities for providing the compassionate, transformative care that will make us the most trusted health partner for life.”

In the near future, and subject to regulatory approvals, St Mary's Health System in Waterbury and Johnson Memorial Medical Center in Stafford Springs will also join the new system. The new regional health system will embody all participating organizations' shared commitments to Catholic values and high-quality, high-value health care. It will combine its members' strengths in inpatient, outpatient and continuing care settings.

Over the next five years, Trinity Health plans to invest at least $275 million to support the health care needs of the new region through capital projects and other programs. Members in the region will have access to Trinity Health resources, including shared services, intellectual capital, operational expertise and its AA-credit rating that significantly improve access to capital and cost of financing for future investments.

"We partner with organizations that share our commitment to excellence and people-centered care as part of a very deliberate strategy,” said Scott Nordlund, executive vice president for growth, strategy and innovation for Trinity Health. “We’re glad to welcome St. Francis to our health system today and look forward to all that our work together can accomplish.”

In joining with Trinity Health, St. Francis adopts Trinity Health’s mission and core values, as well as its governance and management structure and policies. It also transfers its religious sponsorship from the Archdiocese of Hartford to Catholic Health Ministries. A special transition ceremony marking the event ritually will be held later in the month.

The New England region will be governed by a regional board of directors comprised of local community representatives as well as physician and Catholic organization representatives with ties to the region. St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital and Mercy Medical Center, as well as other members of the region, will maintain separate local boards focused on the respective needs of each community.

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.