CHS Sells ValleyCare, Sharon Hospitals

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Community Health Systems Inc. announced Thursday that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its ValleyCare Health System of Ohio and Sharon Regional Health System in Pennsylvania to subsidiaries of Boston-based Steward Health Care LLC.

The ValleyCare system encompasses of Northside Medical Center in Youngstown, Ohio, Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren, Ohio, and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland, Ohio. The Sharon Regional Health System consists of its hospital in Sharon, Pa.

“We are looking forward to affiliating with ValleyCare Health System of Ohio,” said Michael Callum, M.D., Steward executive vice president for physician services, in a news release announcing the ValleyCare deal.

“We think our community-based model of providing the highest quality of care in a local setting is an exceptional fit with the high level of care and community support that ValleyCare Health System of Ohio has been providing,” he continued. “We look forward to continuing and furthering that strong community focus and we are excited to work with hospital leaders in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition for ValleyCare Health System of Ohio staff and patients.”

The purchase agreement includes a commitment from Steward Health Care to offer employment to all active employees in good standing when the transaction is complete, according to the release. Privileges will continue for physicians in good standing on the medical staff.

“Our hospital plays a crucial role in providing convenient and quality health care for our patients,” said John Walsh, chief executive officer of Trumbull Memorial. “Steward Health Care will help us maintain our critical position as an anchor institution and employer in the community.”

Sharon Regional will continue to provide needed health care services with the support available through the affiliation with Steward, said Jason Roeback, CEO. “Working with the same physicians and caregivers our patients trust, we look forward to using these new resources to enhance the care and experience we deliver,” he said.

“This transaction is a significant step in our strategic work to optimize our portfolio and operations for the future,” Wayne T. Smith, CHS chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “These hospitals play an important role in their communities and can benefit from Steward Health Care’s community-based care model going forward.”

The sale also includes the Wuestoff Health System-Melbourne, Melbourne, Fla., the Wuestoff Health System-Rockledge in Rockledge, Fla., Sebastian River Medical Center in Sebastian, Fla., and Easton Hospital in Easton, Pa.

No additional details were provided in the announcement, but the company said that proceeds of the sale would be used to pay down debt.

CHS said it would provide more information given during its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings call scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 21.

Steward Health Care is a physician-led health care system based in Boston. In 2015, the company posted an operating profit of $131 million on revenues of $2.2 billion.

In 2010, Steward acquired the Caritas Christi Health Care System in Massachusetts. The three main components of the system are Steward Health Care Network – a fully integrated managed care company with 3,000 physicians; Steward Medical Group, which provides services to one million patients per year and includes more than 800 physicians; and Steward’s Hospital Group, which operates 10 hospitals in Massachusetts.

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