Methodist Hospitals – the next 100 years - March 27, 2017

Courtesy of The 411 News • March 26, 2017

Merger with Franciscan Alliance will benefit patients, physicians and employees

Only days after The Methodist Hospitals announced its intent to a merger with the Franciscan Alliance network, the hospital held its annual Service Awards Banquet.

Honored at the celebration Friday night were nearly three-hundred employees, among the 2600 hospital staff members that Ray Grady, the Methodist Hospitals Chief Executive Officer has said would benefit from the merger. “We look forward to maximizing the benefits of this partnership that will bring the best of both systems to our communities,” Grady said. “As the health care landscape evolves, we are dedicated to being forward-looking and ensuring that we continue growing in a way that best serves our patients, communities, physicians and employees.”

Recognized for longevity were employees with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of service.

Individual employees received awards for safety, leadership, humanitarianism, and for employee of the year.

Methodist Hospitals’ history in Gary stretches back to 1923, nearly 100 years. “The merger will help Methodist continue its legacy in Gary,” Grady said.

After the announcement, Grady described on Lakeshore Public Radio a landscape in northwest Indiana that is experiencing a decline of independent hospitals and growing consolidations.

Franciscan Alliance was the only suitor willing to make investments in the Gary community to enhance health care services, Grady said. “And it was willing to work with us to amend the Office of Civil Rights consent decree to allow us to build more health care facilities in Gary. We have to work with someone who has an irrevocable commitment to Gary.”

That 1979 consent decree was the result of a lawsuit filed by then Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher and members of Gary’s Model Cities coalition against Methodist Hospitals for its plans to reduce services at its Gary campus and build up services at its Merrillville campus. Methodist settled the lawsuit agreeing to parity at both locations.

The hospital is considering the construction of a new facility near the IU Northwest campus.

The signing of the non-binding Letter of Intent between Methodist Hospitals and Franciscan Alliance was announced Wednesday. The parties contemplate a due diligence process of approximately 120 days during which the systems will review and further define the details of their proposed relationship before finalizing an agreement.

Franciscan Alliance is one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest, operating 14 hospitals in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.