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Hospital CEO's Plans Give Community a Jolt

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, September 14, 2012

You might remember Saint Anthony Hospital from a story I wrote in 2010, when the hospital was executing an exit from its then-corporate parent, the nonprofit hospital giant Ascension Health. Even at the time, the hospital and its leadership were swimming against the tide of consolidation, which as many of you know, has only picked up speed since.

If the future is decidedly murky for standalone community hospitals, it is murkier still for standalone community hospitals in economically depressed areas such as Saint Anthony, a 151-bed safety net hospital in Chicago's South Side.

But instead of looking to ingrain itself even more deeply in the safety of Ascension's size, Saint Anthony was looking to strike out on its own.

By the CEO's admission, it wasn't being forced out. Guy Medaglia had to do a sales job on both Ascension and his own local board that going it alone would work after 6 years as a unit of Ascension.

So far, so good.

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