Ministry to Partner with Hospital Sisters Health System

With the July 7 announcement that Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC) will end its relationship with Ascension Health, President/CEO Gerald Worrick said the first question he has gotten about the change is what will the new name be?

While that has yet to be determined (Worrick thinks it might just be Door County Medical Center), Worrick said a new partnership with the Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) “will allow us to continue to grow our organization, while providing the same high level of care for which we are recognized.”

In fact, Worrick said hospital customers should not even notice that a change in affiliation has taken place.

“I don’t anticipate any real changes,” he said. “Actually, one of the big criteria that the board used as they went through their discernment process is to make sure we have a relationship that will not affect the culture of this organization. We have a really great culture. I don’t think patients will see a change at all.”

The hospital opened its doors in 1943 as Door County Memorial Hospital. In 1999 it became part of Ministry Health Care, and Ministry joined Ascension Health in 2013. Ascension is the largest Catholic and largest nonprofit health system in the nation.

MDCMC and HSHS have signed a Letter of Intent for HSHS to enter into a minority interest affiliation with MDCMC that will permit the two organizations to work as partners in the delivery of health care to the residents of Door County and northeast Wisconsin.

“During this past year, our board of directors explored various affiliations that would enhance our ability to take the best care of our community,” Worrick wrote in a July 7 letter to MDCMC employees. “After careful consideration and a rigorous discernment process, we are confident our decision to partner with HSHS will allow us to continue our mission of putting patients first in everything we do. As a Catholic-based health care system, HSHS shares our organization’s strong commitment to serving the health care needs of our entire community, especially the poor.”

“We are grateful for the partnership we have enjoyed with Ministry Health Care and Ascension. As health care in the United States continues to evolve, we feel this opportunity to now formally partner with HSHS makes the most sense for the patients and communities we are privileged to serve,” added Patrick O’Hern, MDCMC Board Chair.

HSHS has 14 hospitals and more than 200 physician clinic sites in Wisconsin and Illinois. The HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division has four hospitals, including two in Green Bay, one in Oconto Falls and one in Sheboygan.

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay has centers of excellence for cancer, cardiovascular, orthopedics, women’s care, digestive health, and a dedicated children’s hospital with the region’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, also in Green Bay, offers a full scope of healthcare services including heart care and women’s health.

Through its partnership with Prevea Health, the HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division also includes more than 200 physicians in more than 40 health centers that provide easy access to primary and specialty care physician services.

“We believe that formally partnering with Ministry Door County Medical Center will enable both organizations to work together to improve the health of communities across northeast Wisconsin,” said Mary Starmann-Harrison, President and CEO of Hospital Sisters Health System.


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