Enumclaw’s St. Elizabeth Hospital part of healthcare merger

Enumclaw’s St. Elizabeth Hospital is one part in a newly-announced plan that would create a major healthcare system throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Enumclaw’s St. Elizabeth Hospital is one part in a newly-announced plan that would create a major healthcare system throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Catholic Health Initiatives and PeaceHealth, two nonprofit health care systems, have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to create a new, regional system that would aim to improve care and access for individuals, employers and communities across the region.

St. Elizabeth is owned by the Tacoma-based Franciscan Health System, which is part of Catholic Health Initiatives, a faith-based system with headquarters in Englewood, Colo.

The proposed – and yet unnamed – partnership would combine seven CHI hospitals in Washington and Oregon with nine PeaceHealth hospitals in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. The new organization would include nearly 26,000 employees and about 950 employed physicians serving in hospitals, physician clinics, outpatient care clinics, long-term care facilities, laboratories and private homes across the region.

PeaceHealth is based in Vancouver, Wash.

The new organization, with annual revenues of almost $4 billion, would attempt to build on the strengths of both organizations to better manage care and resources in a rapidly changing health care environment.

“As a part of Catholic Health Initiatives, we believe this partnership will expand and sustain our healing ministry that has been essential to the quality of life in our South Puget Sound communities since 1891,” said Joe Wilczek, Franciscan’s chief executive officer.

Franciscan services that would become part of the new regional system include St. Elizabeth in Enumclaw, along with St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; the Franciscan Medical Group network of clinics, physicians, and professional providers in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties; Franciscan Hospice and Palliative Care; and all other Franciscan programs. The medical center on Griffin Avenue in Enumclaw is part of the expansive network.

The nonbinding letter of intent is the first step in the partnership process. Leaders of Catholic Health Initiatives and PeaceHealth expect to form the new system before June 30, 2013. The two organizations will be equal partners.

Discussions were prompted by a rapidly changing health care environment that demands the ability to accept more financial risk in caring for defined populations, like Medicaid recipients. The partners will reduce costs by making infrastructure investments more efficiently as a single organization.

The new organization will also include two CHI hospitals in Oregon, physician practices and related services, in addition to the Franciscan Health System’s facilities and services.

PeaceHealth operates three hospitals in Washington – Bellingham, Longview and Vancouver – with another scheduled to open this fall in Friday Harbor. It also has one hospital in Alaska and four in Oregon.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Business

A Darigold dairy worker practices picketing as a strike is approved by the union. Photo courtesy of Julia Issa
Puget Sound Darigold workers on verge of strike amid contract negotiations

Workers cite lack of medical leave, outsourcing and bad-faith negotiations as reason for strike.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Japan’s hydrogen pilot may work in Washington

The Evergreen state already excels at using renewable energy. What if we added hydrogen to the mix?

Don Brunell
Power of Our Interconnected Grid with Ample Supply | Brunell

Cheers to the Pacific Northwest power grid for weathering our recent heat wave

Don Brunell
Family Tree Farms Key to Cutting Greenhouse Gases | Brunell

Small-time tree farmers are the unsung heroes of our healthy forests

Dave and Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue looks to hire 130 people to staff its Bellevue venue, set to open in August. Photo courtesy Dave and Busters.
Dave and Buster’s hiring 130 for August opening in Bellevue

Dave and Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue opens in downtown Bellevue on… Continue reading

Don Brunell
Water has a greenhouse gas problem | Brunell

Polluted bodies of water, especially rivers and streams, release nearly 4 billion tons of CO2 every year.

Don Brunell
Land is the wild card in Biden’s green gamble |Brunell

It will take a lot of land to covert the U.S. to 100 percent renewable energy.

Images of dishes from Issaquah’s Umi Cafe posted on the SMORS page. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Ho)
Facebook page promotes minority-owned restaurants across Puget Sound region

Miya Nazzaro used to be a member of Facebook pages that were… Continue reading

Don Brunell
Ignoring China’s grip on critical metals production is not an option | Brunell

China processes more than 90 percent of the world’s manganese, while the U.S. has none.

Ian McLeod speaks with customers behind the desk at Rock Paper Games on Main Street in Buckley on the afternoon of May 11. Photo by Alex Bruell
Buckley game shop is a critical hit

‘Rock Paper Games’ has weathered COVID-19 with the help of the Plateau gaming community

Don Brunell
Building our future electricity supply around hydropower | Brunell

Instead of eliminating fossil-fuel power plants, Washington and New Zealand should work on making those plants fore energy efficient.

The Moe Vegan food truck serves meals at the city of Kent’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 21, 2020. Sound Publishing file photo
King County fire marshals offer regulatory relief to food trucks

39 fire authorities have reportedly agreed to standardize fire codes and inspections.