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Saint Francis Care, Trinity Health Sign Merger Agreement

HARTFORD, Conn. — Saint Francis Care Inc. will join Trinity Health, a leading national health system, under the terms of a definitive agreement, the two systems announced Wednesday.

The agreement outlines the creation of a nonprofit, regional health system that includes Saint Francis Care and the Sisters of Providence Health System in Springfield, already a member of Trinity Health. The organizations will combine strengths in inpatient, outpatient, and continuing-care settings to better serve patients. Together, they will expand Trinity Health’s vision of becoming a people-centered health system.

“Our focus on building a people-centered health system fits very well with Saint Francis Care’s strategy, capabilities, and commitment to their communities. We look forward to Saint Francis Care joining Trinity Health and working together to better serve people across the region,” said Dr. Richard Gilfillan, president and CEO of Trinity Health.

The new regional health system will embody both organizations’ shared commitments to Catholic values and high-quality, high-value health care. Christopher Dadlez, president and CEO of Saint Francis Care, will lead the new regional ministry.

“This is an important milestone expanding our ability to work with community physicians and clinicians to deliver outstanding, coordinated care to our patients and communities,” said Dadlez. “Together, we will take progressive, innovative steps on diverse fronts, like this one, to capture opportunities being presented by the revolutionary changes sweeping today’s delivery of healthcare. Consistent with our legacy of providing high-quality, low-cost clinical care for patients, we will continue to capitalize on initiatives that are leading-edge and sustainable, and to pioneer best-practice protocols.”

Daniel Moen will continue to serve as president and CEO of the Sisters of Providence Health System and will play a significant role in the formation of the new regional system.

“The Sisters of Providence Health System serves thousands of people every year, ensuring they receive the highest-quality care and best patient or resident experience possible,” said Moen. “United in a regional ministry with Saint Francis Care, we will expand access to our top-tier, people-centered health system.”

The merger is expected to provide better care coordination for people in New England, as well as provide models that could be shared across the Trinity Health system.

“A strategic partnership with Saint Francis Care enhances our leadership in the Hartford and Springfield regions while bringing some significant population-health management expertise into our system,” said Scott Nordlund, executive vice president, Growth, Strategy, and Innovation, at Trinity Health. “We look forward to this merger that will expand services for people and communities in in the region.”

One benefit to Saint Francis Care will be Trinity Health’s outstanding credit rating, which will significantly improve its access to capital and cost of financing.

“Saint Francis has consistently demonstrated its ability to be progressive in its delivery of world-class care while maintaining its long-standing Catholic tradition of quality and compassionate care,” said Dan O’Connell, chairman of the board of directors at Saint Francis Care. “Operating from our position of financial and clinical strength, we have been evaluating how best to position Saint Francis and continue its nonprofit status as healthcare delivery continues to evolve, and we have concluded that this opportunity provides us with the potential to create a powerful, regional presence.”

The announcement comes after eight months of discussions and due-diligence efforts to create a strategic partnership that would greatly enhance care in New England. The agreement has been approved by the Archdiocese of Hartford, which sponsors Saint Francis Care, and is subject to further approvals required by canon law, and to regulatory approvals from state and federal agencies. It is expected to be completed by late 2015.

Once the partnership is complete, Trinity Health will ensure the investment of at least $275 million over the next five years to support the healthcare needs of the community through capital projects in the new region.

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