WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) - The largest association of Catholic hospitals just got bigger. Ministry Health Care is now part of Ascension Health Alliance.
Senior Vice President of Ministry Health Care Dan Neufelder says there are many benefits to joining the two large groups. “We’ll have greater access to lower cost capital, and we will have the financial benefits of being part of a larger system with a greater economy of scale. We’ll have access to the best practices and health care operations, as well as the opportunity to share some of our best practices here at Ministry with Ascension and it’s hospitals throughout the country.”
Neufelder says the new arrangement also allows for the merged health care providers to share best practices, technology such as electronic record keeping, and it gives them the ability to make more cost-effective group purchases.
The Vice President says most people won’t see anything different in day-to-day operations, since the leaders at Ascension and Ministry believe in local control. “You’ll continue to see strong local leadership. You’ll continue to see a strong local board of trustees made up of local citizens who are best able to help guide our hospitals in determining the needs of the community and the best way to operate our facilities.”
Ascension Health Alliance is based in St. Louis, Missouri and is continuing to grow. Neufelder says patients from Wisconsin should not be surprised to find an affiliated hospital or clinic if they are traveling around the country. “Ascension will now have a presence in 23 states plus Washington D.C. and will employ more than 150 thousand associates, and operate 118 hospitals and more than 15 hundred clinical locations.”
Along with Ministry Health Care and its recently acquired Affinity Health System hospitals and clinics, Marian Health System affiliates in Kansas and Oklahoma are also becoming part of Ascension Health.
Ministry’s President and CEO Nick Desien is getting some added duties with the new affiliation. He will also become the market leader for Wisconsin, Kansas, and Oklahoma.