The Archdiocese of Boston and Ascension Health today announced that they have agreed to engage in good faith discussions pursuant to a non-binding Letter of Intent to explore a change in sponsorship of Caritas Christi Health Care. All parties hope to move rapidly through the due diligence process, reaching a Definitive Agreement, and then closing an agreed transaction in July 2007.

Cardinal Seán P. O’ Malley said, “We are pleased to announce that we have selected a potential sponsor and health system that has both the values consistent with those of the Archdiocese of Boston and Caritas Christi and the financial strength to support our healthcare system. Ascension Health possesses the integrity and commitment to excellence necessary to be successful in today’s competitive healthcare environment. Mission is at the heart of Catholic healthcare and Ascension Health has consistently been responsive to the needs of the poor. This collaboration will ensure a strong future for Catholic healthcare in our Archdiocese and throughout Eastern Massachusetts.”

Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer for Ascension said, ” Ascension Health is committed to strengthening Catholic healthcare. Our Mission calls us to serve all, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Caritas Christi has a long history of serving the community and Catholic healthcare. We are very pleased that Ascension Health has been selected to develop a new relationship with Caritas Christi. In the days and weeks ahead we will conduct due diligence with a goal of determining how we can work with Caritas Christi in a way that benefits the people of Eastern Massachusetts, Caritas Christi employees and the Catholic health ministry. “

Chancellor James P. McDonough said, “From the start Cardinal Seán expressed a desire to ensure that Catholic healthcare be continued and strengthened in the Archdiocese of Boston. With this announcement we have brought together two strong and leading healthcare systems that share a similar commitment to Catholic healthcare and to meeting the needs of the less fortunate in a dignified and compassionate manner.”

Ascension Health is committed to strong local leadership and governance. Under an affiliation with Ascension Health, the local hospital boards will remain in place with responsibilities and duties related to their local organizations.

Ascension Health Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Ascension Health is a Catholic healthcare system formed in 1999, when four provinces of the Daughters of Charity (Northeast, Southwest, East Central and West Central) and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth came together to create the system as a sponsorship organization to continue the work of their ministry, which began more than 400 years ago. This model was shaped to welcome additional religious sponsors and their ministries into the organization. In 2002 the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet joined as the sixth sponsor.

Ascension Health is the largest Catholic and largest nonprofit healthcare system in the United States, with more than 101,000 associates serving in 65 acute care hospitals and dozens of related facilities in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Caritas Christi Health Care Established in 1985, Caritas Christi Health Care, the second largest healthcare system in New England, is a comprehensive, integrated healthcare delivery network providing community-based medicine and tertiary care in eastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and Rhode Island. At the hub of the system’s six-hospital network is Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center of Boston, a tertiary academic teaching hospital affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine. The other acute care hospitals in Massachusetts are Caritas Carney Hospital, Dorchester; Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center, Brockton; Caritas Holy Family Hospital and Medical Center, Methuen; Caritas Norwood Hospital, Norwood; and Saint Anne’s Hospital, Fall River. John B. Chessare, MD, MPH, Interim President/CEO at Caritas Christi said, “Today ‘ s announcement has created great excitement about the future of Catholic healthcare and Caritas Christi. I am extremely proud of the entire Caritas community for their continued commitment to providing exceptional care to our patients and for demonstrating tremendous professionalism during this period of change. For that I extend my deep appreciation to our medical team and staff.”

The Archdiocese of Boston The Archdiocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of approximately 2 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 295 parishes, across 144 communities, educating nearly 50,000 students in its Catholic schools each year, ministering to the needs of more than one million patients annually in its hospitals and 200,000 families through its social service outreach. Mass is celebrated in more than 23 languages each week. For more information, please visit http://www.rcab.org.

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