Proctor Hospital will merge with UnityPoint - Methodist

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Proctor Hospital will merge with UnityPoint Health-Methodist in a move that will form one health system and keep both Proctor and Methodist campuses and their affiliated offices operating.

The affiliation of the hospital campuses, outpatient clinics and other sites of care will create a stronger, broader system of care to better serve patients in the region, said a news release about the affiliation.

Pending regulatory approval and due diligence, the merger should be completed by year's end, according to an affiliation agreement reached and signed by officials of the two entities. The agreement was recommended for approval by a joint task force made up of four members from each of the Proctor and Methodist boards of directors and then approved by those boards.

Approval must come from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

"The focus of our affiliation is to improve the experience for our patients by coordinating their care and providing the high quality services both organizations are known for," said Debbie Simon, president and CEO of UnityPoint Health - Methodist. "Forming a health system that makes use of both Proctor Hospital's north Peoria campus and Methodist's downtown campus will better enable us to accomplish these goals and increase access to care."

Under the agreement Simon will be the president and CEO of the affiliated entity. No other leadership announcements were made.

"Proctor is excited to be joining Methodist so we can work together as a single health system with two locations," said Paul Macek, president and CEO of Proctor. "Our affiliation will ensure that our high quality and high value services will thrive within a great and respected organization, to the benefit of patients in Peoria and throughout Central Illinois."

Proctor, the smallest of Peoria's three hospitals, has been the subject of merger rumors for months, largely because of financial considerations.

According to the news release, the affiliation agreement outlines a new, collaborative vision for the two organizations. "By combining operations into a single health system, Methodist and Proctor can further develop a value-based way of delivering health care services. The elements of this modern, patient-centered delivery system include improving care coordination, expanding access to care with more clinical space and sites, sharing best practices on care processes to improve quality and efficiency, and optimizing the use of resources," the release said.

The agreement creates a unified health system with two hospital campuses. The Proctor campus will be known as UnityPoint Health – Proctor. The agreement covers all of the operations of Proctor, including the physicians employed by Proctor, its clinic sites and other services, such as the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery and the Hult Center for Healthy Living.

Under the agreement, Methodist Health Service Corp. will become the parent of Proctor Health Care Inc. The Methodist board will expand to add three members from the Proctor board.

MHSC will continue to be a senior affiliate of UnityPoint Health, based in West Des Moines, Iowa. Methodist joined UnityPoint Health in October 2011.

Both the Methodist Foundation and Proctor Foundation will remain intact.

Proctor had earlier held discussions with OSF Heathcare about merging, but those talks ended earlier in the summer without any agreement. Methodist, which had earlier approached Proctor, then stepped in and leaders from both entities studied the various needs and strategies before recommending the affiliation.

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).