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St. Joseph's and Guthrie Move Towards Affiliation

St. Joseph's and Guthrie Healthcare System officials announced today that plans are moving forward to have St. Joseph's Health System become part of the Guthrie Healthcare System. A letter of intent has been signed by the two health care organizations thereby clearing the way for the submission of a Certificate of Need application to the New York State Department of Health.

The agreement with Guthrie Healthcare System involves commitments by Guthrie totaling $54 million. These funds will be earmarked for the assumption of debt/liabilities, the recruitment of additional physicians to St. Joseph's, and capital improvements such as upgrades to the Emergency Department and the hospital's infrastructure. The two organizations also plan to work collaboratively to enhance hospital services and programs and increase efficiencies. St. Joseph's will remain a Catholic acute care hospital and maintain a local Board of Directors. In addition, St. Joseph's will also have representation on both the Guthrie Healthcare System and Guthrie Health Boards of Directors.

St. Joseph's originally contacted Guthrie nearly five years ago about possible ways the two organizations could work together. In late 2006 St. Joseph's and Guthrie signed a letter of intent that would bring the two organizations together. However, talks between the boards of directors of the two organizations were halted in November so that St. Joseph's Hospital could comply with a recommendation by the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century. In November of 2007 the New York State Department of Health announced that St. Joseph's had met the Commission's requirements thereby opening the door for St. Joseph's and Guthrie to restart their discussions.

Sister Marie Castagnaro, S.S.J., President/CEO of St. Joseph's said her facility's affiliation with Guthrie will enhance both organizations' goal of quality patient care. "St. Joseph's mission of meeting the needs of the community - particularly those most vulnerable - will be strengthened by our association with Guthrie." Sister Castagnaro added, "Guthrie recognizes and appreciates the unique role and critical service that St. Joseph's provides to the community."

Mark Stensager, President/CEO of Guthrie Healthcare System stated, "We are excited to be at this point in the process. We value St. Joseph's long history of service and its tradition of providing quality health care to the community. This partnership will benefit both organizations. It will bring additional services to the St. Joseph's campus and, its existing specialty services such as its outstanding acute care rehabilitation program, will serve as a resource to the rest of the health care system."

Sister Castagnaro explained that becoming part of the Guthrie organization would position St. Joseph's as an important component of an integrated health care system that serves a broad geographic region. "The breadth and depth of such an integrated regional delivery system would benefit our communities in a number of ways," she added. "Patients would have more convenient access to specialty care and expanded choices in terms of providers. Jointly developed best practices would result in high quality patient care provided in the most effective and efficient manner. I envision that this system would also have an economic impact with more than 5,000 skilled health care professionals and staff providing care to more than 200,000 people from all walks of life."

Founded in 1908 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester, New York, along with several community leaders, St. Joseph's is a not-for-profit Catholic acute care hospital with a certified capacity of 295 beds.

Guthrie Healthcare System is a community-based, not-for-profit health care organization that serves the Twin Tier region and, along with Guthrie Clinic, formed Guthrie Health, a not-for-profit health system. Guthrie Healthcare System provides a range of health care services in New York and Pennsylvania through its member organizations including Corning Hospital, Robert Packer Hospital, Troy Community Hospital, Sayre House Nursing Home, as well as home care and hospice programs.

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