Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Ministry Health Care Assumes Full Sponsorship of Affinity Health System
Ministry Health Care
(715) 218-3486 (cell)
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
(414) 465-3605 (office)
Maria Heim Nelson
Affinity Health System
(920) 554-0686 (pager)
(Milwaukee) – Ministry Health Care (Ministry) and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare (Wheaton) are announcing the transfer of sponsorship of Affinity Health System (Affinity) in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley. Ministry and Wheaton have been co-sponsors of Affinity since 1996. Effective today, February 8, Ministry assumes sole sponsorship of Affinity.
Affinity is a network of three hospitals, 26 clinics, a medical group that includes nearly 300 providers, and 4,000 employees who serve the health care needs of the greater Fox Valley area. In addition, Affinity’s Network Health Plan also provides health insurance benefits to more than 133,000 members in communities located throughout northeastern Wisconsin in 17 counties. Ministry’s sponsor, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, founded Affinity’s Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh in 1891. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare’s sponsor, the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, founded Affinity’s St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton in 1899.
According to John Oliverio, president and CEO of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, “Ministry and Wheaton have had a long and successful partnership as co-sponsors of Affinity. In view of the pending challenges of health care reform and federal budget deficits, Ministry approached our organization last year with a proposal to assume sole sponsorship of Affinity. After thoughtful review and discussions, we reached an agreement that will allow Ministry to continue the strong tradition of delivering the Catholic health care ministry to the Fox Valley that was begun by our founding Sisters and fulfills the heritage of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and our founders.”
“The assumption of sole sponsorship by Ministry will extend our health care delivery footprint into a contiguous geographic market,” noted Nick Desien, president and CEO of Ministry Health Care. “Sole sponsorship brings additional assets to Ministry’s delivery system, which will create cost-saving opportunities, provide additional medical management experience and infrastructure, and better position Ministry to address issues related to health care reform.”
“We are supportive of this new sole sponsorship agreement,” said Daniel E. Neufelder, president and CEO of Affinity Health System. “Our patients and members should expect a continuation of personalized care from our physicians and care teams in the same close-to-home clinics and hospitals they currently visit.”
Ministry Health Care, a Catholic integrated health care delivery system, serves more than one million people in Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. Ministry was founded more than 120 years ago by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother to meet the health care needs of the growing population of central and northern Wisconsin. The Ministry system includes 15 hospitals, 47 clinics and more than 12,000 employees and generates more than $2 billion in annual operating revenue.
More than 2,500 physicians and advanced practice clinicians provide care at Ministry’s Wisconsin hospitals. Included are more than 650 employed primary care and specialist physicians and advanced practice clinicians who provide primary and specialty care services. Home health care, hospice and long-term care services are also provided. Through Network Health Plan, the organization provides health insurance benefits to 133,000 members in many communities throughout northeastern Wisconsin. Ministry’s parent organization, Marian Health System, sponsored by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, a 36-affiliated hospital system with more than 150 clinics also operates health systems in Tulsa, Okla. and Wichita, Kan.
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is a Catholic, not-for-profit organization with more than 100 sites in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois including 18 hospital campuses, three transitional and extended care facilities, two home health agencies, more than 3,500 physicians, 70 clinic sites with approximately 600 employed physicians, and more than 21,000 associates. Started more than 130 years ago and formally incorporated in 1983, the system is sponsored by the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters. Corporate services offices are located in Wheaton, Ill. and Glendale, Wis.
The system also operates a housing division known as Franciscan Ministries, Inc. with approximately 2,800 units of assisted living and other housing.