Claremore Daily Progress

April 1, 2013

St. John Health System joins Ascension Health

Staff Reports
Owasso Progress

TULSA — Effective today, St. John Health System 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 Ministry Health Care in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Marian Health System was founded by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in 1989. 

St. John Health System is a fully integrated healthcare system that encompasses eight hospitals in northeastern Oklahoma and southern Kansas, including St. John Medical Center, St. John Owasso, St. John Broken Arrow, St. John Sapulpa, Jane Phillips Medical Center, Pawhuska City Hospital, Sedan City Hospital and Nowata Hospital. Other subsidiaries of the St. John Health System include OMNI Medical Group and Family Medical Care primary care physicians, St. John Physicians, Inc., a multi-specialty group physician practice; St. John Villas senior living centers, St. John Urgent Care centers and other outpatient treatment centers. More than 7,000 associates are employed by St. John.

“St. John is pleased to officially become part of the Ascension Health family. We believe this relationship will support and enhance St. John’s long-standing commitment to high-quality healthcare and service to the communities we serve,” said David Pynn, St. John Health System president and chief executive officer. “This affiliation links St. John and the two other health systems joining Ascension Health to an innovative organization with a like-minded commitment to our mission, a culture of safety, as well as a focus on providing person-centered care.”

“Ascension Health Alliance and the health systems of Marian, including St. John Health System, 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 commitment to strengthen Catholic healthcare.”

“We’re excited to welcome St. John Health System 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.”

Nicholas F. Desien, in addition to his role of 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 M. Therese Gottschalk, who has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Marian Health System, has agreed to assume 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 transition of the new Health Ministries. She also will serve on 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 Gottschalk 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.”