Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Iowa to join Mercy Health Network

posted 10/29/2015 by Augusta Sires in News

Current Wheaton Iowa Patients: Click Here to read Frequently Asked Questions about this transition
The Wheaton Franciscan Sisters announced today their intent to form a new relationship for their Iowa hospitals and services located in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and Oelwein. The intention is for these organizations to join Mercy Health Network (MHN), based in West Des Moines, an integrated system of hospitals, clinics and other health and patient care facilities working to achieve the “triple aim goals” of better health care services, better health, and higher efficiency. The transfer is contingent upon final negotiations of definitive agreements, the receipt of all required approvals, and is expected to take place in the first quarter of calendar year 2016.

The Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare hospitals, clinics and other services including Covenant Medical Center, Waterloo; Sartori Memorial Hospital, Cedar Falls; and Mercy Hospital of Franciscan Sisters, Oelwein are the subjects of the proposed transfer. MHN was founded in 1998 under a joint operating agreement between two of the largest Catholic, not-for-profit health organizations in the US: Catholic Health Initiatives, based in Englewood, Colorado, and Trinity Health, based in Livonia, Michigan. Today MHN includes facilities and services throughout Iowa and 12 owned hospitals and medical centers, 27 community hospitals affiliated through contracts, and 151 physician clinics.

This transition in Iowa is planned to occur in conjunction with the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters’ transfer of their other health care and housing ministries.

“This decision came after a lengthy discernment process by the Sisters as we are aging and our numbers are getting smaller in the United States,” said Sister Pat Norton, Chair of the Sponsor Member Board for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. “We wanted to transfer our corporate ministries while these ministries are healthy, fiscally sound, and have a strong sense of mission and values. The choice to transfer our ministries ensures that the needs of the times will continue to be addressed in each community, as the Sisters have worked to do for more than 140 years,” she added.

“As the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters looked for the best way to assure their Mission will endure, it became clear that the ministries would be best served by seeking out the optimal partner for each of our health care regions and for Franciscan Ministries, our housing division,” said John Oliverio, President and CEO of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. “The organizations we are joining will provide the necessary vision, resources and stability to position each ministry for success,” added Oliverio.

“The potential of joining Mercy Health Network allows us to maintain our high-quality and compassionatpatient care and continue making investments in the communities we serve,” said Jack Dusenbery, President of Wheaton’s Iowa region. “Our Mission, Vision, and Values are consistent with those of Mercy, which has a strong commitment to a superior patient experience, clinical excellence, being the preferred partner of physicians, and a special concern for the poor and vulnerable,” Dusenbery added.

Dave Vellinga, the MHN president & CEO, said, “All of us in the Mercy Family are thrilled to have organizations of the high caliber of Wheaton Franciscan consider joining our health care ministry. In all three of the Iowa communities in which they reside, the Wheaton Franciscan organizations and people are recognized as outstanding health care providers and strong community leaders.”
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is a Catholic, not-for-profit organization with more than 100 sites in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois including 14 hospital campuses, three transitional and extended care facilities, two home health agencies, nearly 3,000 physicians, 70 clinic sites with more than 500 employed physicians, and more than 17,000 associates. Started more than 140 years ago and formally incorporated in 1983, the System is sponsored by the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters. Corporate services offices are located in Wheaton, Illinois and Glendale, Wisconsin.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-Iowa is a faith-based 511-bed; not-for-profit, comprehensive medical/surgical health care provider offering acute levels of medical care at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo; Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls, and Mercy Hospital in Oelwein. In addition, the region includes Covenant Clinic with more than 130 primary care and specialty providers; Covenant Foundation, Sartori Health Care Foundation and Mercy Hospital Foundation. Areas of excellence include: cardiology, orthopedics, neurosurgery, maternity and NICU, cancer treatment, minimally invasive and Bariatric surgery. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare invests in the Iowa communities we serve and is committed to living out the healing ministry by providing exceptional and compassionate health care service that promotes the dignity and well being of the people we serve.

Mercy Health Network (MHN) is an integrated system of member hospitals and other health and patient care facilities united into one operating organization to improve the delivery of healthcare services to the people of Iowa and adjoining states. MHN was created to add value to participating organizations and communities by containing costs, improving quality, increasing accessibility to care, and enhancing services to patients and their families. MHN sponsors own and operate medical centers and other services in Clinton, Des Moines, Dubuque, Mason City, and Sioux City and community hospitals in six other locations. In addition, MHN has 27 members who participate through contracts for management and other services. Mercy Health Network (MHN) was founded in 1998 under a joint operating agreement between two of the largest Catholic, not-for-profit health organizations in the United States: Catholic Health Initiatives, based in Englewood, Colorado, and Trinity Health, based in Livonia, Michigan.