PeaceHealth plans merger with Catholic Health Initiatives

Leaders with PeaceHealth and Catholic Health Initiatives have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to create a new regional heath care system in the Pacific Northwest, according to an Aug. 17 announcement.

The partnership will combine seven Catholic Health Initiatives hospitals in Washington and Oregon and nine PeaceHealth hospitals in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, including the St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham. The newly formed organization will include nearly 26,000 employees and about 950 physicians in hospitals, physician clinics, outpatient care clinics, long-term care facilities, laboratories and private homes across the region.

The new system should be created before June 30, 2013, after completion of a due diligence and approval process.

Catholic Health Initiatives is a national, faith-based nonprofit system operating in 19 states. Its headquarters is in Englewood, Colo. With annual revenues topping $10.5 billion, the organization is the second-largest Catholic health care system in the nation.

With its hospitals and services in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, PeaceHealth brings in annual revenues of about $2.3 billion.

Kevin E. Lofton, president and CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives, said in a statement that both organizations share common cultures and values.

“We see this as a natural evolution – a perfect way to share economies of skill and scale, improve health services and reinforce our common mission to create and nurture healthier communities,” Lofton said.

Alan Yordy, president and chief mission officer of PeaceHealth, said both systems have long traditions of serving communities throughout the Northwest, according to a statement.

“Our shared mission and combined strengths will allow us to better serve individuals with safe, high quality networks of care built upon more than a century of service in the Northwest,” Yordy said.

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