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Ascension, Presence Health finalize merger, create largest Catholic health system in country

Along with Presence comes 10 of its hospitals, which will operate with Amita Health, a joint venture between Ascension and Adventist Midwest Health.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Ascension headquarters in St. Louis, MO (Google Earth)Ascension headquarters in St. Louis, MO (Google Earth)

Ascension Health and Presence Health finalized a merger this week, officially creating the largest Catholic healthcare system in the country. While Ascension was based in St. Louis, the new entity will be based in Chicago.

Along with Presence comes 10 of its hospitals, which will operate within Amita Health, a joint venture between Ascension and Adventist Midwest Health.

Worth about $4.5 billion, Amita currently encompasses 19 hospitals, 274 outpatient clinics and about 7.500 employed physicians. A statement posted to Ascension's website indicated that Presence's accountable care organization would operate under the Amita banner, as well.

[Also: Ascension, Providence St. Joseph, reportedly in talks to merge]

"Presence Health and AMITA Health coming together strengthens our ability to deliver on our shared mission of serving all persons in our communities, with special attention to people living in poverty and those most vulnerable," said Mark A. Frey, president and CEO of Amita Health and senior vice president of Ascension Healthcare, in the statement.

The merger was one of many that were either planned or completed among various Catholic health systems; Dignity Health and Catholic Health intend to merge, as do Bon Secours Health System and Mercy Health. Ascension and Providence St, Joseph signaled an intent to merge last year, though nothing has yet come of those talks.

 

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