On January 6, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System announced a merger of the two organizations, forming KentuckyOne Health, the state’s largest health system. The merger was effective retroactively to January 1, 2012.
KentuckyOne Health honors the rich Jewish and Catholic heritages of its two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. The nonprofit organization is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care.
KentuckyOne Health Board Chair Bob Hewett called it “an historic day for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.” He acknowledged that the people of Kentucky face significant health threats, not just from disease, but also from issues related to access to preventive and advanced medical care and a severe shortage of physicians. “We believe,” he said, “this new health system will make for a healthier Kentucky.”
Ruth W. Brinkley, FACHE (Fellow of the American College
of Healthcare Execu-tives), 59, is president and chief executive officer of the new organization. She is a nationally recognized health care leader and former executive at Ascension Health and Catholic Health Initiatives. Brinkley said, “The organizations have come together as KentuckyOne health because they recognize that continuing to function as we have is not going to solve the issues. We must change to more effectively meet the health needs of those we serve.”
KentuckyOne Health has nearly 200 locations, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies, with more than 2,325 beds and 13,600 employees across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.
As part of KentuckyOne Health, historically Jewish facilities will remain Jewish and historically Catholic facilities will remain Catholic. “We have had a mutually beneficial relationship with Catholic Health Initiatives for the last six years,” said Gerald Temes, M.D., chair of Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services. “We are confident this is the right direction for the Jewish Hospital organization and we are looking forward to growing together.”
Catholic Health Initiatives will invest $320 million to launch KentuckyOne Health. The new system plans to invest the funds in an integrated electronic health record system and other IT improvements and to make additional facility, equipment and telehealth investments in communities across the state.