With federal and state regulatory approvals secured, Memorial Group in Belleville and St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare announced Wednesday they have signed an agreement to proceed with a strategic affiliation announced earlier this year.
“The affiliation will be a strong path forward for both systems, and most importantly, the communities we serve,” Memorial Group CEO Mark Turner said in a released statement. “It will provide greater access to enhanced service lines and medical expertise, as well as an effective and progressive delivery care model.”
BJC president and CEO Steven Lipstein said they are “drawing upon the strengths and value of two proven health care providers to create one integrated network. It’s a proactive step in an ever-changing health care landscape that will allow us to continue providing the highest quality care well into the future.”
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved a change of ownership for Memorial Hospital in Belleville and Memorial Hospital-East under construction in Shiloh at its Aug. 25 meeting.
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The structure preserves our community commitment and maintains our strong leadership teams. All services will continue as normal, and patients will continue to receive quality care from the Memorial doctors and staff they know and depend on.
Mark Turner, CEO of Memorial Group in Belleville
The board’s approval was required because the partnership plan met the state health board’s definition of “change of ownership/change of control.”
The proposed affiliation would be structured as a membership addition where Memorial and BJC would be two corporate members of Memorial Regional Health Services Inc., which was formed as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation on May 15. Turner will serve as the organization’s CEO.
Memorial Regional Health Services would serve as the parent corporation of Memorial Hospital and Memorial Hospital-East, according to the application filed with the state health board. This nonprofit organization would be governed by a board of directors with equal representation from Memorial and BJC. In addition to the overall board, each hospital would be governed by a board of directors.
BJC has committed to capital investments in support of facilities, service line expansion and operational enhancements, according to a statement provided by Memorial Group. Additional joint resources will go toward the organization’s population health and accountable care programs.
With construction underway at two new hospitals in St. Clair County, BJC HealthCare has yet to announce plans for 111 acres in Shiloh that it purchased in January 2008 for $21.6 million.
Construction of Memorial Hospital-East, the $118 million, 94-bed hospital off Interstate 64 in Shiloh, is expected to be completed by April 2016.
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville is in the early stages of construction of a 144-bed hospital to be built off Interstate 64 on North Green Mount Road. St. Elizabeth’s plans to close its 303-bed hospital in downtown Belleville.
Memorial Hospital would be the second location for BJC HealthCare in the metro-east and the first in St. Clair County. BJC is one of the largest hospital groups in the St. Louis area. The effective date of the transaction is early 2016, according to hospital officials.
BJC has affiliations with hospitals and medical centers in St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, Mo., plus Sullivan, Mo.; Farmington, Mo.; Columbia, Mo., and Alton Memorial Hospital in Alton.
Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier said he was pleased to hear the partnership between Memorial and BJC is moving forward.
“I strongly believe with the backing that BJC has and brings to the table, the future of Memorial Hospital in both Shiloh and Belleville will be very good,” Vernier said.