Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Owner of Porter hospital buys LaPorte and Starke hospitals

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LaPorte and Starke hospitals and their outpatient clinics, physician network, and other facilities have become affiliates of Community Health Systems Inc. (CHS), according to a statement released on Tuesday by the LaPorte Hospital Board of Directors.

A subsidiary of CHS now has 80-percent ownership of those hospitals, with Indiana University Health retaining a 20-percent stake.

The board called the agreement “a significant milestone for LaPorte and Starke counties” and said that, under its terms, CHS has made a $140-million commitment to provide new services, acquire new technology, recruit new physicians, and build replacement hospitals in LaPorte and Starke counties.

“In addition, proceeds from the sale of the 80-percent interest have gone to the newly-created Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte, a separate locally-managed private foundation that will have substantial assets to exclusively support health initiatives in the communities served by LaPorte and Starke hospitals,” the board said.

CHS has made these commitments as well:

* Employees in good standing have been hired into the same positions, at the same rate of pay, with their years of service recognized.

* Medical staff privileges are continuing with all physicians in good standing currently serving on the hospitals’ medical staffs.

* The hospitals will continue charity care policies to help serve indigent patients and participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

* Local boards of trustees will be composed of community leaders and members of the hospitals’ medical staffs.

“When I think about the positive impact that this new agreement will have, I’m inspired by the fact that we have created the health system our community members in LaPorte and Starke counties will need to become healthier and live well for generations to come,” said Scott Siefker, chairman of the LaPorte Hospital Board of Directors.

“This process involved hundreds of hours of time by our volunteer board members, immense support from our local legal team, and input from hospital colleagues, physicians, and the community,” Siefker added. “The level of leadership, expertise, civic pride, volunteerism, and genuine care for our communities that has been present throughout the process is reminiscent of the same qualities our healthcare forefathers had while planting the seeds of healthcare in LaPorte in the 1800s. Once again, we have made history, and as a community member here in LaPorte, I’m very thankful to all those involved.”

G. Thor Thordarson, CEO of LaPorte Hospital, for his part said that the finalized agreement marks the starting line for a period of significant growth. “We are now poised to continue the hard work of improving the health of our patients and communities through growth in healthcare services across the region. We know that if we improve access, and address community health from a three-pronged approach--illness care, wellness services, and health promotion--we will achieve our vision of landing in Indiana’s top ten healthiest communities by 2030. We look forward to sharing these initiatives with the community in the coming months.”

The LaPorte Hospital Foundation, which celebrated its 37th birthday in 2015, will be absorbed into the new Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte over time, preserving the current funds and membership, and ensuring that all gifts received will continue to be used for their intended purposes, IU Health noted.

“For almost as long as LaPorte Hospital has existed, the LaPorte Hospital Foundation has been an integral part of addressing patient needs and community health,” Thordarson said. “To see that legacy preserved, and to see that our communities will now have even greater access to health programming resources as the two foundations come together, is extremely rewarding. We look forward to walking side by side with the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte to continually identify community health needs in LaPorte and Starke and grow services to address them.”

Community Health Systems is the owner of the Porter Health System, which includes Porter Regional Hospital.

 

 

Posted 3/2/2016

 
 
 
 

 

 

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