Metro-East News

Memorial Hospital to consider affiliation with BJC HealthCare

BJC president and CEO Steven H. Lipstein talks about the future of the two organizations, as Memorial Hospital president and CEO Mark J. Turner listens.
BJC president and CEO Steven H. Lipstein talks about the future of the two organizations, as Memorial Hospital president and CEO Mark J. Turner listens. News-Democrat

The owner of Memorial Hospital in Belleville and the hospital’s satellite campus under construction in Shiloh is looking into becoming an affiliate of St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare.

Memorial Group President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Turner said the two companies will spend the next three to four months investigating the benefits of the proposed affiliation. Turner said the affiliation would create a parent organization that will have equal representation from the two organizations as each would benefit from each others’ services.

“We’re excited because we think this brings two great organizations together that will have a significant benefit for our community that will have access to more resources and have access to all that is BJC while maintaining our community hospital identity moving forward,” Turner said.

This 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.

BJC HealthCare President and Chief Executive Officer Steven Lipstein said the two hospital systems will spend the next 90 to 120 days looking for ways to better serve the metro-east and the communities where BJC already exists. Lipstein said the affiliation would be modeled after the structure that BJC has with its current affiliations of hospitals and medical centers in St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, plus Sullivan, Mo.; Farmington, Mo.; Columbia, Mo., and Alton Memorial Hospital in Alton.

“It means greater access to medical care closer to where you want to get that care,” Lipstein said. “So I would imagine that none of the patients who come into Memorial today would find a disruption in their service. Rather, I think they would feel like they had access to greater services and improved services closer to home. Part of what has brought our two organizations together is we share a common commitment to our communities and the communities where we serve patients.”

Turner said the affiliation would help both hospital systems as they move forward in the evolving landscape of health care under the Affordable Care Act.

“It is what we think is the best structure that allows us to go forward,” he said. “Most importantly for our community, what this really means is enhanced services through Memorial, through BJC, in our community here. So it’s more care here in Belleville, more care in St. Clair County, instead of less care going forward. It positions our two organizations very very well going into the future.”

Lipstein added, “It gives us very good geography and geographic coverage as much as how we think about how we respond to health-care reform. It gives us good coverage of the metropolitan area.”

This may also allow BJC HealthCare to explore potential opportunities to develop in Shiloh. The nonprofit health care organization has yet to announce plans for 111 acres that it purchased in January 2008 for $21.6 million.

“One of the things we’ll be able to do in the next 90 to 120 days is to walk both parcels of land and look at where the community may need us to make investments over some period of time, and we’ll try to figure out what to do with that,” Lipstein said.

Construction of Memorial Hospital-East, the $118 million, 94-bed satellite hospital under construction off Interstate 64 in Shiloh, is expected to be completed a year from now in April 2016.

Earlier this month, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville was granted permission by a state health board to pursue plans to build a new hospital nearby in O’Fallon. The hospital plans to close its 303-bed hospital in downtown Belleville and open a $253 million hospital with 144 beds off Interstate 64 on North Greenmount Road.

Contact reporter Will Buss at or 618-239-2526.

Memorial Hospital in Belleville, plus its satellite campus under construction in Shiloh, is considering whether to become an affiliate of BJC HealthCare. BJC HealthCare currently has a number of hospitals and medical centers serving patients in the Greater St. Louis area:

▪  Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis

▪  Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital in St. Peters, Mo.

▪  Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in St. Louis

▪  Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Mo.

▪  Christian Hospital in St. Louis

▪  Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis

▪  Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital in Sullivan, Mo.

▪  Northwest HealthCare in Florissant, Mo.

▪  Parkland Health Center in Farmington, Mo.

▪  Progress West Hospital in O’Fallon, Mo.

▪  St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis

▪  The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis in St. Louis

▪  Alton Memorial Hospital in Alton, Ill.