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Providence Tapped to Take Over Santa Monica’s Saint John’s Hospital

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark


Rusty's Surf

By Jorge Casuso

May 20, 2013 -- The owners of Saint John’s Health Center announced Friday that they had entered into exclusive negotiations with Providence Health & Services to take over the Santa Monica institution.

The announcement by Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System (SCLHS) came two days after Saint John’s Health Center Foundation threw its weight behind a bid by the Santa Monica non-profit Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health, headed by Los Angeles’ wealthiest resident.

SCL officials said Providence --a 157-year-old Catholic hospital chain that owns and operates 31 hospitals, including five in Southern California -- would further the 61-year-old hospital’s mission.

The decision was reached after the Saint John’s Health Center Board, SCLHS and Leaven Ministries “managed an objective, thoughtful and prayerful process,” according to a statement released by SCLHS Friday.

“In the Catholic tradition, Providence Health & Services has a respected reputation for providing high-quality, compassionate care in the Southern California region,” said Michael Slubowski, president and CEO of SCLSH.

“With the most extensive network of Catholic hospitals and physicians in the region, Providence is well positioned to succeed in this era of accountable care through population health management and serving new enrollees who will have access to health care as part of the Affordable Care Act. Both are vital to the continuation of the ministry at Saint John’s.”
The transfer of canonical sponsorship to Providence Ministries, SCL officials said, is subject to approval by the Archbishop of Los Angeles and the Vatican.

The foundation’s endorsement last week of the non profit headed by Soon-Shiong -- whose charity has committed $135 million to the hospital -- won the immediate support of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

A group composed of UCLA Health System and Ascension Health Alliance and Dignity Health -- two large Catholic hospital chains – also were said to be on the running.

SCLHS officials said the choice of Providence, which owns St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, would give Saint John’s the support of an “extensive network of hospital and providers, enabling the ministry to continue to impact lives, especially those who are poor and vulnerable.”
“Providence shares a deep understanding and commitment to all aspects of Catholic sponsorship, identity and stewardship, including significant contributions to community benefit programs in Southern California,” said Slubowski.

SCLHS’s announcement comes five and a half months after its officials ousted the health center’s two top executives and 15 members of its 17-member board.

The shakeup raised questions about the future role of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation, which raises nearly $10 million a year for Saint John's community benefits program, helping to fund everything from local schools and homeless agencies to senior and youth programs.

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