December 2005

Berea Hospital to Consolidate with Saint Joseph HealthCare

Berea Hospital, Berea, Ky., will become part of Saint Joseph HealthCare, Lexington, Ky., to expand access to health care and better serve patients in the region. Berea Hospital will be renamed Saint Joseph Berea in recognition of Saint Joseph’s national reputation for clinical excellence and Berea Hospital’s tradition of serving the community since 1898.

The goals of the consolidation are to increase availability of patient services in Berea; recruit more physicians to the area; and create a seamless connection to Saint Joseph through information technology.

“As part of Saint Joseph, we will be able to bring health care much closer to home and make it more convenient for residents so that they don’t have to leave the area for medical services,” said Angie Carman, president and chief executive officer of Berea Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital. “Being part of Catholic Health Initiatives is a big advantage and helps make this integration possible. It’s a progressive move that will serve our community well.”

Most of Berea Hospital’s 275 employees are expected to remain in their jobs. Carman will become a member of the Saint Joseph HealthCare executive leadership team and will serve as on-site administrator of Saint Joseph Berea.

Gene Woods, chief executive officer of Saint Joseph, said the integration complements his organization’s strategic plan. “A consolidation with Berea Hospital will present many opportunities to build healthier communities and achieve better coordination of care in central Kentucky,” he said. Saint Joseph HealthCare currently includes Saint Joseph Hospital, a 446-bed tertiary medical center; and Saint Joseph East, a 166-bed community hospital.

Catholic Health Initiatives will invest nearly $7 million to upgrade Berea Hospital’s facilities and equipment. Plans for the next two years include expansion of operating room capabilities; recruitment of primary care physicians; new office space for physicians; and establishment of a long-term, acute-care facility branch.

“We value Berea Hospital, and the consolidation is a sign of Catholic Health Initiatives’ strong commitment to the region,” said Gary Campbell, senior vice president of operations for Catholic Health Initiatives. “Consumer surveys cite Berea’s excellence in nursing care, and the hospital is one of the most highly ranked for patient satisfaction in Catholic Health Initiatives. Consolidation will combine the strengths of Berea Hospital with the reputation and resources of Saint Joseph HealthCare, whose programs are nationally recognized for clinical excellence.”