Memorial Health System chairman of the board James P. Bruner and Passavant Area Hospital board chairwoman Janet M. Terry have announced the two organizations have signed an affiliation agreement that would make Passavant the Springfield-based health system’s fourth hospital, pending regulatory approvals.
If the affiliation receives all regulatory approvals and clearances, Passavant Area Hospital would become a full affiliate of Memorial Health System, which also includes Memorial Medical Center of Springfield, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital and Taylorville Memorial Hospital.
Passavant’s board of directors unanimously voted in March 2013 to explore a possible affiliation with Memorial Health System. Both parties have been completing due-diligence reviews over the last several months.
“We gave great consideration in making this decision and concluded that partnering with Memorial could better position us to meet the health-care needs of our community as we adapt to national health-care reform,” Terry said. “We also saw value in the opportunity to maintain our local relationships by affiliating with an organization that has shown great commitment to improving the lives of the people of central Illinois.”
Passavant Area Hospital has 900 full- and part-time employees and is staffed for 93 inpatient beds. It is fully accredited by The Joint Commission and earned status as a Magnet hospital – the highest honor a health-care organization can receive for professional nursing practice – from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2009.
Memorial Health System’s three hospitals are staffed for 523 inpatient beds, and the health system, which also includes Memorial Physician Services, Memorial Home Services and Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, employs 5,725 people.
“This proposed affiliation will provide opportunities for both organizations to offer even greater access to health-care services by working together on behalf of the citizens in the communities they serve,” Bruner said. “It’s an exciting and worthwhile opportunity.”
Memorial Health System president and chief executive officer Edgar J. Curtis agrees. “National health-care reform is requiring greater levels of partnership between communities,” he said. “We must think and work differently. By better coordinating care, we can simultaneously increase quality and reduce health-care costs for the people we serve.”
Memorial has long been committed to serving the health needs of the Jacksonville community, Curtis said. That commitment includes the construction of a medical office building completed on Passavant’s campus in June 2013, which houses the offices of Memorial Physician Services-Jacksonville. The primary-care clinic’s staff includes 15 family medicine physicians, internal medicine physicians, pediatricians and mid-level providers. The health system also operates a medical equipment retail store in Jacksonville, which is a joint venture between Memorial Home Services and Passavant.
Founded in 1875, Passavant moved to its facility on West Walnut Street in 1953. The hospital has continued to expand over the years to meet the growing health-care needs of the residents of Morgan, Cass and Scott counties and parts of Brown, Greene, Macoupin and Pike counties in west central Illinois.
“This is an exciting development for Passavant Area Hospital, and we look forward to the opportunities this affiliation will provide our patients, our hospital and our community,” said Chester A. Wynn, president and CEO for Passavant. “The proposed affiliation will allow us to continue to build on the strong legacy our founders established more than 130 years ago.”
Passavant Area Hospital would be the third Memorial Health System hospital affiliate located outside of Springfield. The first, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, affiliated with MHS in 1994. The second was Taylorville Memorial Hospital, formerly named St. Vincent Memorial Hospital. Following joint sponsorship for 12 years, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, Ruma, Illinois, transferred sole sponsorship to the health system in 2007.