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Photo by Fred Pollard
OSF Chief Integration Officer Ajay Pathak addresses the crowd regarding the health system merger.
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Photo by Fred Pollard
St. Anthony’s Health Center Chief Operating Officer Sister M. Anselma talks to business leaders about the upcoming union between St. Anthony’s and OSF Health Systems, to take place by Dec. 31.
ALTON – During a business leader breakfast, St. Anthony’s Health Center revealed its plans to join with OSF Health Systems by the end of 2014, creating the all-new OSF/St. Anthony’s Health Center.
“This is the right thing to do, to come together and work for Catholic health care ministry in Southern Illinois,” St. Anthony’s Health Center Chief Operating Officer Sister M. Anselma said. “This is a very exciting time for us.”
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) also spoke during the breakfast, voicing his support for the union.
“I spoke with an older gentleman who talked about his experience at OSF and he said he could not have been treated better,” Davis said. “I am sure that same type of positive outcome will come here to (St. Anthony’s).”
OSF’s sponsor, the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, officially formed in 1876 as six sisters and today is based out of Peoria. The Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George has sponsored St. Anthony’s since 1925 and is based near the hospital.
“Looking at this over the years, our sisters have been very discerning about whether or not we would join with other systems,” Anselma said. “We are very similar in the way we approach our religious life, but especially our health care ministry as well.”
Anselma says the talks grew serious this past year, and a press conference was held this spring to announce the health center had signed a letter of intent with OSF.
Research plays a large part in OSF’s focus. OSF Healthcare System CEO Kevin Schoeplein says dedication to research will come to St. Anthony’s as part of the merger.
OSF Chief Integration Officer Ajay Pathak spoke about the health care system’s emphasis on a “population health strategy” as well as a dedication to make the transition seamless so as not to interrupt patient care.
“We think about how we can focus on the health and wellness of our patients, less about treating patients once they get here…and think about providing viable health care before they hit the doors of the hospital,” Pathak said. “We want to make sure that all patients in our communities have full access to the depth of OSF resources, regardless of what point they enter our health care system.”
Sister Anselma said more immediate changes to the health center include changes to service lines, additions to the oncology department and a new pulmonologist starting in October.
“We continue to build, add and expand our services for the needs of our patients here in the area,” she said.
Also during the meeting, Saint Anthony’s Foundation Business and Professional Chair Monica Bristow revealed plans for a new business health award, related to the health of local companies and their employees.
Bristow says plans are for the new award to begin after the first of the year.