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NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6 , 2008

Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, Springfield, Illinois to Assume Sponsorship of St. Anthony's Health Center in Alton, Illinois

Springfield, IL --A letter of Intent has been signed by the Hospital Sisters Health System, acting on behalf of its sponsor, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, to assume sole sponsorship of Saint Anthony's Health System in Alton, Illinois .

When finalized in a formal agreement later this year, this new relationship with Saint Anthony's Health System will create a stronger Catholic health care ministry in Southwestern Illinois based on the teachings of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.

Under the terms of the Letter of Intent, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis will assume sole sponsorship of Saint Anthony's Health System, which operates two campuses in Alton -- Saint Anthony's Hospital and Saint Clare's Hospital. Saint Anthony's is currently sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.

"Saint Anthony's is currently one of only a handful of independent Catholic hospitals in Illinois." said Mother M. Regina Pacis, Provincial Superior for the American Province of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George. "Through many months of prayer and meetings with the Hospital Sisters Health System, our Sisters feel it is God's will for our Franciscan missions to come together."

"Integrating Saint Anthony's Health System into the Hospital Sisters Health System will strengthen our ability to provide healthcare services to the people of Southwestern Illinois through an integrated network of healing ministries," said Stephanie S. McCutcheon, President and Chief Executive Officer of HSHS. "The services we provide to all, including the poor and the needy, will benefit from this transfer of sponsorship, and both ministries will be in a better position to further their mission and values in the future."

Currently, HSHS operates three hospitals in Southwestern Illinois -- St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville , St. Joseph 's Hospital in Breese and St. Joseph 's Hospital in Highland .

Mark Weber, President/CEO of Saint Anthony's Health System, said that when the transfer of sponsorship is finalized, HSHS intends not only to maintain the current services offered at Saint Anthony's Hospital and Saint Clare's Hospital, but also will continue plans for a major expansion of the Saint Anthony's Hospital campus. This project already has received approval from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.

The final agreement also will have HSHS assuming responsibility for the ComPAS Network, a physicians group that focuses its services in a number of specialized medical areas. The ComPAS Network was founded by Saint Anthony's.

Under the terms of the Letter of Intent, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George will continue to live and foster their healing and teaching ministry from the Order's Motherhouse, which is located on the Saint Anthony's Hospital campus. The Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George also will continue their involvement in Saint Anthony's serving on the local Board of Directors and in direct care or administrative roles.

Both the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George and the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis are Franciscan religious Orders with roots in Germany. Saint Anthony's Hospital was founded in 1925. The Hospital Sisters began their health care ministry in 1875.

The services offered at Saint Anthony's Hospital include obstetrics, surgery, cardiology, a gastrointestinal diagnostic center, imaging and sleep studies. At Saint Clare's Hospital, the services offered include a center for wound healing and hyperbaric medicine, diabetes treatment, occupational health, oncology, adult day care, psychological services, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, an inpatient Alzheimer's program and extended care services for seniors.

Of the 13 current HSHS hospitals, 11 were founded by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis. The other two hospitals were founded by different Orders and the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis assumed sponsorship at the invitation of those orders. The Hospital Sisters assumed sponsorship of St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, from the Misericordia Sisters in 1974. The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis assumed the sponsorship of St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese, Illinois from the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross in 1987.

"Our mission and our commitment to the Alton area will continue -- and will thrive," said Mother M. Regina Pacis. "We will have easier access to resources for capital projects, which will enable us to continue to provide quality health care for area residents."

The Hospital Sisters Health System is a Roman Catholic health care mission founded to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Sponsored by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, HSHS is dedicated to serving all people, including the poor and the needy at each of its 13 Local Systems in Illinois and Wisconsin. The Hospital Sisters Health System provides state-of-the-art health care framed in traditional values taught by St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi .

With more than 14,300 staff, the HSHS hospitals in Wisconsin are located in Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire and Sheboygan, with two in Green Bay. In Illinois, the HSHS hospitals are located in Belleville, Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Highland , Litchfield, Springfield and Streator.

CONTACT:
Dave Urbanek
Director of Communications, HSHS
217-492-5824
Cell: 217-725-8485
durbanek@hshs.org

Diane R. Schuette
Community Relations Director, SAHC
618-463-5306
dschuette@sahc.org

 

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