EAST LIVERPOOL - Humility of Mary Health Partners (HMHP) and River Valley Health Partners (RVHP), which operates East Liverpool City Hospital, have entered into a letter of intent to fully integrate with one another, officials announced on Thursday.
This announcement comes after an exhaustive search by the RVHP Board of Trustees and administrators, officials said in a press release.
"We have been looking diligently for a long-term organizational partner that will provide high quality healthcare to our community, needed financial stability, and healthcare leadership in times of great challenge. The reality is that RVHP will be able to serve more patients in more ways with HMHP by its side," said Kenneth Cochran, RVHP president and CEO. "The community's interest has always been and will always be our top priority."
Opened in 1905, East Liverpool City Hospital's origins are rooted in providing healthcare solutions for the East Liverpool community.
Board of Trustees Chair Pete Wicks said, "East Liverpool City Hospital and River Valley Health Partners have evolved countless times throughout the last 100-plus years. The Board sees this partnership as the next exciting evolution in RVHP's story."
"This partnership supports our strategic effort to extend our reach in developing a network of healthcare services," said Bob Shroder, HMHP President and CEO. "We look forward to having River Valley Health Partners join our ministry."
Its reputation for quality and service differentiated HMHP from other potential partners. HMHP, the area's healthcare leader and largest employer, is part of Catholic Health Partners, the largest healthcare system in Ohio.
"While RVHP does not have a religious sponsor, the mission, vision, and principles espoused by HMHP and CHP are absolutely consistent with RVHP's core values. If operational changes are required during this transition - whether for religious purposes or otherwise - the Board of Trustees and administrators are committed to sharing and managing the changes as effectively as possible," said Wicks.
Over the next several weeks, HMHP will work closely with RVHP administrators, board members and medical staff members to prepare a seamless transition which will benefit patients, physicians, and the respective communities.
Pending regulatory approval and finalization of terms, the official merger will likely occur this summer. Until that time, RVHP and HMHP will each continue providing high quality patient care.
As part of its decision to partner with HMHP, the RVHP Board of Trustees agreed to establish the RVHP Healthcare Foundation, which will focus on providing healthcare to the poor and underserved.
This mission is consistent with HMHP's mission to extend "the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the health of our communities with emphasis on people who are poor and underserved."
The RVHP Healthcare Foundation is planned to be operational by the end of 2014.