Wheaton Franciscan Sisters plan to transfer health care and housing ministries

posted 10/28/2015 by Augusta Sires in News

The Wheaton Franciscan Sisters are pleased to announce a new direction for their ministries under the ownership and sponsorship of four national or regional organizations. The Sisters intend to transfer all Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and Franciscan Ministries entities during the first quarter of 2016 as follows:
  • Wheaton’s Southeast Wisconsin region will join Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, with 129 hospitals and more than 30 senior care facilities in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In Wisconsin, Ascension includes Columbia St. Mary’s and Ministry Health Care, including Affinity Health System.
  • Wheaton’s Iowa region will join Mercy Health Network (MHN), an integrated system of hospitals and other health and patient care facilities working to improve the delivery of healthcare services in Iowa and surrounding communities. 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.
  • Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital will become part of Northwestern Medicine, based in the Chicago area, which is a collaboration between Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Marianjoy has had a long-term relationship with Central DuPage Hospital, which recently became a member of the Northwestern system.
  • Franciscan Ministries will become part of Mercy Housing, Inc. Based in Denver, CO, Mercy Housing is one of the nation’s largest affordable housing nonprofits. With a presence in 41 states, Mercy Housing serves tens of thousands of people with low incomes, including families, seniors, veterans, and people with special needs. The Founding Communities of Mercy Housing include eight congregations of Catholic Women Religious across the country. Franciscan Ministries’ pending acquisition of 1,200 additional units in eight states is expected to proceed; these properties will also become part of Mercy Housing.
“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. We wanted to transfer our corporate ministries while these ministries are healthy, fiscally sound, and have a strong sense of mission and values,” said Sister Pat Norton, Chair of the Sponsor Member Board for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. “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 to assure their Mission will endure, it became clear that the right course was to seek out the organization with the best fit for each of our health care regions and housing division,” said John Oliverio, President and CEO. “I am confident the organizations we are joining will provide the vision, resources, and stability necessary to continue our important work and make meaningful contributions into the future.”

The transfers are contingent upon final negotiation of definitive agreements and the receipt of all required approvals.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is a Catholic, not-for-profit organization with more than more 17,000 associates at more than 100 sites in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Colorado 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 a housing division known as Franciscan Ministries. Started more than 140 years ago and formally incorporated in 1983, the System is sponsored by the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters with corporate services offices in Wheaton, Illinois and Glendale, Wisconsin. Wheaton’s health care mission is carrying out the healing ministry of Jesus by providing exceptional and compassionate health care service that promotes the dignity and well being of the people we serve. Franciscan Ministries’ mission is providing quality affordable housing in a compassionate environment that promotes wholeness of life within ourselves and the communities we serve. See www.wfhealthcare.org.

Wheaton’s Southeast Wisconsin region includes eight hospital campuses in Milwaukee, Waukesha, and Racine Counties, Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group with more than 300 physicians, a network of outpatient centers, three transitional and extended care facilities, Home Health, and Hospice. See www.mywheaton.org.

Wheaton’s Iowa region includes three hospitals in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and Oelwein, and Covenant Clinic with more than 130 primary care and specialty providers. See www.wheatoniowa.org.

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital is a 127 private room hospital with acute medical rehabilitation beds and skills nursing beds In Wheaton, Illinois dedicated to the delivery of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Marianjoy’s inpatient, subacute, and outpatient sites and physician clinics are located throughout the Chicago area. See www.marianjoy.org.

The System’s housing division, Franciscan Ministries, operates 2,620 units of independent and assisted living and other housing in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. Franciscan Ministries’ pending acquisition of 1,200 additional units in eight states is expected to proceed. Franciscan Ministries was incorporated in 1983 as the holding company for the Wheaton system's housing entities. See www.fm-inc.org.

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