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Ascension plans to transfer ownership of Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg to Mercy

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | February 16, 2024 Business Affairs
PITTSBURG, Kan. (Feb. 15, 2024) – Mercy and Ascension have entered into an agreement that transfers ownership of Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas, its locations and its related physician practices from Ascension to Mercy. The transition will sustain and improve access to care for patients in Pittsburg and the surrounding communities.

“Via Christi and Mercy have both served the area for more than 120 years, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring the hospital into the Mercy system,” said Jeremy Drinkwitz, president of Mercy Joplin communities. “We’ve been impressed with the care Via Christi has provided Pittsburg for years, and we want to continue that long legacy of Catholic health care. We’re 100% committed to caring for Pittsburg and all of Southeast Kansas for years to come.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory and other required third-party approvals. Following this signing, both organizations will engage in a transition planning process that includes Mercy community roundtable listening tours – a tradition when Mercy welcomes a new hospital. These events typically include business and civic leaders, physicians, nurses, elected officials and other community representatives, who are invited to meet with hospital leaders to help determine next steps in the community planning process.

Mercy currently operates two hospitals in Kansas – Mercy Hospital Columbus and Mercy Specialty Hospital - Southeast Kansas – and two primary care clinics.

“Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg has been committed to our mission of serving all persons, with special attention to those who are most vulnerable. As a regional provider, Mercy is well positioned to carry on this legacy, serving the community through an integrated care delivery system,” said Kevin Strecker, Ascension Via Christi's president and chief executive officer. “This transition will ensure that the Pittsburg community has sustainable, quality health care access long into the future.”

Ascension Living Via Christi Village facilities and operations are not included in this transaction.


About Mercy
Mercy, one of the 20 largest U.S. health systems and named the top large system in the U.S. for excellent patient experience by NRC Health, serves millions annually with nationally recognized care and one of the nation’s largest and highest performing Accountable Care Organizations when it comes to quality and cost. Mercy is a highly integrated, multi-state health care system including more than 50 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, convenient and urgent care locations, imaging centers and pharmacies. Mercy has over 900 physician practice locations and outpatient facilities, more than 4,500 physicians and advanced practitioners and 50,000 co-workers serving patients and families across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. In fiscal year 2023 alone, Mercy provided more than a half billion dollars of free care and other community benefits, including traditional charity care and unreimbursed Medicaid.


About Ascension
Ascension is one of the nation’s leading non-profit and Catholic health systems, with a Mission of delivering compassionate, personalized care to all with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2023, Ascension provided $2.2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 134,000 associates and 35,000 affiliated providers and operates 139 hospitals in 18 states.

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