October/November 2005

Boards Approve Merger in Louisville

10-05Merger Photo

Representatives of Catholic Health Initiatives and Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services (JHHS) sign merger documents. They are (from left) Paul Edgett, vice president, strategy operations for Catholic Health Initiatives; Alex Waldrop, chair of the board of CARITAS Health Services; Julian Shapero, chair of the board of JHHS; and Robert Shircliff, chief executive officer of JHHS.

The boards of CARITAS Health Services, Louisville, Ky., Catholic Health Initiatives and Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services (JHHS), also of Louisville, have each approved an agreement to merge CARITAS and JHHS into a single health care organization, effective November 1. In announcing the approvals, the organizations cited the benefits of working together as a unified health care system to better serve the people of Louisville and the surrounding area. “We are truly excited about this new partnership with JHHS,” said Kevin Lofton, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives. “Many of Jewish Hospital’s clinical programs, which are affiliated with the University of Louisville School of Medicine, have achieved national rankings for excellence, as well as national and international recognition for numerous medical ‘firsts.’ Not only are CARITAS and JHHS complementary, they each bring great strengths that we believe will propel the merged organization to the forefront of regional health systems.” The organization that results from the merger will be named Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare. The resulting not-for-profit organization will continue to provide charity care and other community benefits. Catholic Health Initiatives and Jewish Hospital Parent are sponsors of the new organization. They appoint members of the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare board and have the right to approve certain decisions made by the system. In 2003, the CARITAS Health Services Board of Directors initiated a strategic planning process. A key strategy was development of a strategic alliance with another Louisville-area health care provider. Alex Waldrop, CARITAS board chair, said the partnership represents an opportunity to bring together the quality and excellence of Jewish Hospital with the history and tradition of CARITAS. “By joining forces, we believe this new organization will help both CARITAS and the Jewish Hospital organization expand services, enhance quality of care and extend our respective missions throughout the Louisville area,” Waldrop said. The chief executive officer of JHHS, Robert L. Shircliff, will become the president and CEO of the merged organization. “Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare will combine the strengths and honor the heritages of two nationally recognized health systems, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services and Catholic Health Initiatives. We are honored to work with outstanding people, physicians and partners who are helping to make our shared vision a reality,” Shircliff said. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare will make a capital investment of $55 million over five years to upgrade CARITAS facilities and equipment. In addition to approving the merger, the CARITAS board approved name changes for CARITAS facilities, which will be effective December 1. CARITAS Medical Center will be renamed Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, a part of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare; CARITAS Peace Center will be renamed Our Lady of Peace, a part of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare. These names were originally used at the two facilities prior to their merger, along with Nazareth Home Health, into CARITAS Health Services in 1994. Thomas Gessel will serve as chief executive officer for Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, and JoAnne DeLorenzo Maamry will serve as chief executive officer for Our Lady of Peace. Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare will operate a regional health system that includes a regional referral center, acute-care hospitals, an acute-care psychiatric facility, specialized treatment centers and home health agencies. There are no plans to close facilities or discontinue service lines as a result of the merger. The CARITAS facilities will continue to operate as Catholic health care providers, retaining their Catholic identity, mission and values and complying with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. JHHS will retain its Jewish identity, heritage, mission and religious beliefs and practices.