Metro-East News

State health board gives approval for Memorial Hospital, BJC to become affiliated

A provided rendering of the exterior of the new Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh.
A provided rendering of the exterior of the new Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh. snagy@bnd.com

The state health board on Tuesday gave approval for Memorial Hospital in Belleville and St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare in St. Louis to move forward with its affiliation.

Members of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board unanimously approved Memorial Hospital’s application seeking approval for a change of ownership at its meeting Tuesday in Bolingbrook. Memorial Group Inc. filed applications for both its hospital in Belleville and Memorial Hospital East, which is under construction in Shiloh.

The board’s actions Tuesday will allow the creation of a new non-profit governing board — Memorial Regional Health Services, Inc. This new parent corporation will have equal representation by Memorial Group, Inc. and BJC HealthCare.

“At every step Memorial’s goal is to ensure that we expand healthcare services, provide greater access and remain a leading provider of healthcare throughout Southwestern Illinois,” said Anne Thomure, a spokeswoman for Memorial Group, Inc. “The due-diligence process is nearly complete, and we anticipate finalizing our agreement later this summer, which will begin the next phase of strategy development and planning.”

She said regulatory reviews will continue over the coming months, and hospital officials are hopeful the affiliation will be effective later this year or early 2016.

“In connection with the proposed transaction, there will be a number of regulatory approvals and notices that will need to be obtained or sent prior to closing, including obtaining the approval of the Federal Trade Commission,” Thomure said.

Earlier this year, Memorial Group president and chief executive officer Mark Turner and BJC HealthCare president and chief executive officer Steven Lipstein announced they were considering a strategic affiliation.

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 satellite hospital under construction off Interstate 64 in Shiloh, is expected to be completed by April 2016.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville is currently doing preliminary site work for its replacement 144-bed hospital to be constructed off Interstate 64 on North Greenmount Road in O’Fallon. St. Elizabeth’s plans to close its 303-bed hospital in downtown Belleville.

If its comes to fruition, 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.

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.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at jforsythe1@bnd.com or 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter: @BND_JForsythe.

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