March 17, 2014 (Alton, IL) – Saint Anthony’s Health System (SAHS) has signed a Letter of Intent to affiliate with OSF Healthcare System (OSF), one of the largest integrated health care systems in Illinois. The affiliation with OSF would give Saint Anthony’s and the surrounding communities access to enhanced high-quality health care, close to home.

Saint Anthony’s sponsor, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, based in Alton, and the OSF sponsor, The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, based in Peoria, originate from the same region in Germany and share similar missions within the health care ministry.

“Our potential affiliation with OSF Healthcare System is great news for the communities served by Saint Anthony’s,” said Mother M. Regina Pacis, Chairman of the SAHS Board. “It will ensure local access to quality health care for many years to come. This potential affiliation also will allow Saint Anthony’s to grow and offer a wider variety of specialty services while improving our ability to recruit new doctors and further expand services in this community for area residents.”

OSF Healthcare System CEO Kevin Schoeplein confirms this sentiment and explains the rationale behind the possible affiliation. “OSF and Saint Anthony’s share a united mission and vision for the future: to ensure that the tradition of high quality Catholic health care is enhanced and expanded in the greater Alton area and surrounding communities.”

Sister M. Mikela, President & CEO of Saint Anthony’s explains: “Health care reform demands affiliations between providers in many ways. Hospitals and health systems of various sizes across the country are working with their physicians and others to engage with patients for better coordination and delivery of care while reducing expenses.”

Sister M. Mikela added, “We’ve succeeded as a community hospital providing high quality outcomes for those to whom we deliver care. Yet, we recognize that joining a larger integrated delivery system would be beneficial for the long term, given the changing health care landscape. Affiliating with OSF would help us build upon our clinical excellence and enhance the quality and specialty care our patients have come to expect.”

During the next few months, each organization will spend time learning more about each other. This process is called “due diligence.” A decision to move forward is expected later this year. 

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