June 2002

Definitive Agreement Signed
for Sale of St. Joseph in Albuquerque

Ardent Health Services of Nashville, Tenn., has signed a definitive agreement with Catholic Health Initiatives and St. Joseph Healthcare System, Albuquerque, N.M., for the sale of St. Joseph to Ardent Health Services. Pending review and approvals by the Catholic Church and the attorney general’s office and insurance department of the state of New Mexico, the transfer of ownership is expected to occur in the late summer or early fall of 2002.

"Ardent meets the criteria we established for a new owner for St. Joseph," said Patricia A. Cahill, Esq., president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives. "Ardent has the vision and resources to strengthen the St. Joseph organization, improve its competitive position and maintain choice among health care delivery systems serving the Albuquerque market."

"The signing of this agreement moves us one step closer to enhancing the St. Joseph system," said David T. Vandewater, president and chief executive officer of Ardent Health Services. Ardent has committed to a minimum of $40 million worth of capital improvements for the St. Joseph system.

Catholic Health Initiatives plans to maintain an active presence in New Mexico through non-hospital, community outreach health ministries dedicated to serving the unmet needs of poor and underserved populations. The new ministries, to be named St. Joseph Health Ministries of New Mexico, will be funded by net proceeds from the sale of St. Joseph.

Catholic Health Initiatives and the St. Joseph Healthcare System Foundation, which will not be included in the sale transaction, plan to collaborate with members of the St. Joseph Board of Directors, community leaders and other community organizations to identify opportunities for new ministries.Catholic Health Initiatives and SC Ministry Foundation have made a significant financial contribution to fund the planning and start-up of the non-hospital ministries. The contribution represents their commitment to making the vision of St. Joseph Health Ministries of New Mexico a reality.

"We have advocated strongly for St. Joseph employees and medical staff members throughout this process, and one element of Ardent’s vision is to treat employees and physicians with respect and compassion," said Cahill. "We truly appreciate the dedication St. Joseph staff members are showing by continuing to provide their patients and their community with the highest quality of care and service."