(PRESS) - Effective today, Ministry Health Care and two other regional health systems that comprised the Marian Health System have joined Ascension Health. Marian Health System reached an agreement with St. Louis-based Ascension Health Alliance, parent organization of Ascension Health. Ascension Health is the largest Catholic and largest nonprofit health system in the nation. The other health systems are Via Christi Health in Kansas, an affiliate of Ascension Health since 2007, and St. John Health System in Oklahoma. Marian Health System was founded by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in 1989.
Ministry has a presence throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota with 15 hospitals, 46 clinics and nearly 12,000 employees. Recently, Ministry Health Care assumed sole sponsorship of Affinity Health System located in northeast Wisconsin.
“We are pleased to become part of Ascension Health. This relationship will support and enhance Ministry’s efforts in delivering high-quality patient care in the communities we serve,” said Nick Desien, president and CEO of Ministry Health Care. “This affiliation joins Ministry and our two sister systems in Marian into Ascension Health, an innovative organization with a like-minded commitment to our mission, our communities, as well as a focus on providing safe, holistic, person-centered care.”
“Ascension Health Alliance and the health systems of Marian, including Ministry Health Care, share a common mission of serving all with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable,” said Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ascension Health Alliance. “We also share a commitment to providing spiritually centered, holistic care and advocating for a compassionate and just society through actions and words. This joining together is another expression of our ongoing commitment to strengthen Catholic healthcare.”
“We’re excited to welcome Ministry Health Care and the other health systems of Marian to our national health ministry,” said Robert J. Henkel, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ascension Health. “Adding their strengths and expertise to those of Ascension Health creates a combined ministry that is even better able to live our Mission of serving all and to position ourselves to meet the needs of our communities.”
Nick Desien, in addition to his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of Ministry Health Care, has agreed to also serve as Ascension Health Ministry Market Leader for Wisconsin, Kansas and Oklahoma. As Ministry Market Leader, Mr. Desien will provide leadership, support and direction to the Health Ministries in these three states, sharing accountability for their strategic positioning and operational performance.
“We’re pleased that Nick Desien has agreed to add the role of Ministry Market Leader to his responsibilities,” Mr. Henkel said, “and our executive leadership community looks forward to working closely with him and with all of the leaders, associates and physicians across the three new Health Ministries of Ascension Health.”
In addition, Sister Therese Gottschalk, who has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Marian Health System, has agreed to assume a new role as Executive Advisor to the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascension Health, where her experience and knowledge will be invaluable in supporting the transition of the new Health Ministries. She will continue to serve on the Boards of Ministry Health Care, St. John Health System and Via Christi Health.
“Ascension Health shares our goal of serving the community, with special attention to the poor,” Sister Therese said. “By joining representatives of other religious congregations and laypersons in the sponsorship structure of Ascension Health Alliance, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother are able to ensure Catholic healthcare in the United States remains strong.”
Ministry Health Care is the second healthcare ministry of Ascension Health in Wisconsin, joining Columbia St. Mary’s in the greater Milwaukee market. Columbia St. Mary’s operates four hospitals and 62 clinics serving families in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Sheboygan counties and has been a ministry of Ascension Health since its founding in 1999.