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CHH announces agreement to take over St. Mary’s Medical Center

HUNTINGTON — Cabell Huntington Hospital, Inc. and Pallottine Health Services, Inc., the sole member of St. Mary’s Medical Center, Inc., have signed a definitive agreement providing for the transfer of control of St. Mary’s to Cabell Huntington. This is the next step in the process following the joint announcement of affiliation discussions in early August.

The driving force behind the transaction is to deliver the highest quality care in the most cost effective and efficient manner to our community, according to a joint release. Both hospitals are also seeking to reduce the healthcare costs that the community bears, bolstering the region’s economic vitality, the release states. Two hospitals say they believe that combining the organizations will benefit the community by improving quality, access and affordability in the delivery of healthcare services.

“This transaction will enhance the best of both organizations and provide for higher quality of care at a lower cost to meet the needs of our patients and the community,” Brent A. Marsteller, president and chief executive officer of Cabell Huntington Hospital, said. “We are pleased to arrive at this important step in the process and continue to work toward completing a transaction that will serve the interests of the community and meet its future health care needs.

“The intent is to create an integrated delivery system without losing each system’s individual identity, allowing the combined organization to function as a regional healthcare leader. Both campuses will continue to operate as vital full service hospitals, while bringing together the best technology, processes and expertise of both nationally-recognized organizations.”

“The Pallottine Sisters have worked for more than 90 years to make St. Mary’s Medical Center what it is today,” Michael G. Sellards, president and chief executive officer of St. Mary’s, said. “The sisters who remain in this healthcare ministry are ready for a transition in sponsorship after a lifetime of service. They want to make sure their legacy continues for another 90 years.

The Sisters searched locally and nationally and decided Cabell Huntington Hospital is the best entity to acquire St. Mary’s because the transaction will allow the Sisters’ mission to continue. By combining our complementary strengths, we can both significantly improve our ability to meet the healthcare needs of the region, and provide better care more efficiently. This opportunity ensures that both hospitals can continue to meet the growing healthcare needs of the poor and uninsured.”

Now that a definitive agreement between Cabell Huntington Hospital and the Pallottine Missionary Sisters has been signed, there are important government and regulatory processes that must take place before closing the transaction.

First, the Federal Trade Commission will review the competitive implications of the transaction. The West Virginia Healthcare Authority will also review the transaction as part of the Certificate of Need process.

Finally, the West Virginia Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey, will meet with the hospitals as a part of his review of the proposed transaction.

Once regulatory approvals are obtained, financing is secured and the purchase is complete, residents of West Virginia and surrounding areas will have enhanced access to care as a result of bringing together the two organizations, the hospital says.