Aspirus Health signs agreement to acquire Ascension care sites in north/central Wisconsin
WAUSAU – Aspirus Health and Ascension have signed an agreement to transfer from Ascension to Aspirus ownership of seven hospitals, 21 physician clinics, and air and ground medical transport services located in north and central Wisconsin.
“Aspirus is committed to creating thriving, healthy rural communities,” said Matthew Heywood, President and CEO of Aspirus Health. “We are looking forward to welcoming these new team members into the Aspirus family and to expanding access to local primary care and specialty services to create a more seamless health care experience for thousands of rural Wisconsin residents.”
The transition will include Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport, 21 physician clinics, and the following Wisconsin hospitals:
• Eagle River Hospital in Eagle River
• Good Samaritan Hospital in Merrill
• Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff
• Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Stanley
• Sacred Heart Hospital in Tomahawk
• St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander
• St. Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point
The transition is subject to customary conditions to closing, including regulatory and canonical requirements.
“Ascension Wisconsin remains committed to putting our communities first, which means being responsive to the changing needs of those we serve,” Bernie Sherry, senior vice president of Ascension and ministry market executive for Ascension Wisconsin, said. “We look forward to finalizing this transition with Aspirus as a way of honoring that commitment. We are confident that this transition will enable these facilities and their dedicated caregivers to be in a better position to serve the communities’ health needs going forward.”
Aspirus: Aspirus Health is a non-profit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin. Its 8,700 employees are focused on improving the health and well-being of people throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Aspirus serves communities through four hospitals in Michigan and six hospitals in Wisconsin, 50 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and air-medical transport, medical goods, nursing homes and a broad network of physicians. Aspirus has been recognized for three consecutive years by IBM Watson Health as a Top 15 Health System in its annual study identifying the top-performing health systems in the country. For more information, visit aspirus.org.
Ascension: In Wisconsin, Ascension operates 24 hospital campuses, more than 100 related healthcare facilities and employs more than 1,200 primary and specialty care clinicians from Racine to Eagle River. Serving Wisconsin since 1848, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit and Catholic health system in the U.S., operating more than 2,600 sites of care – including 145 hospitals and more than 40 senior living facilities – in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.ascension.org.
Editor’s Footnote: In an interview with Matt Heywood, President and CEO of Aspirus, following the press release, Heywood was asked about the timeline for the transition. “It’s gonna be months,” he said. “Now that we’ve inked the deal, we can move forward.” Local residents won’t likely see any difference in how services are provided, or even the sign on the building, for some time, as the transition will be a process. Heywood seemed confident Aspirus and Ascension will work together to ensure businesses and their employees currently covered under Ascension insurance plans will not experience a loss in covered services.