Consolidation FAQs

What has been announced?

  • St. Margaret's Health, a member of SMP Health System, and Illinois Valley Community Hospital (IVCH) have signed a Letter of Intent to join together to form a regional health network.
  • This is a non-binding step that will allow the two hospitals to develop an affiliation structure to strengthen healthcare services across the Illinois Valley.

Why is this happening now?

  • As you know, today's healthcare environment and the delivery of care have evolved significantly in recent years. Stand-alone hospitals need to think strategically and be fiscally responsible to survive.
  • Thanks to advances in healthcare, we are able to care for more people on an outpatient basis. People who do need to spend the night in the hospital generally have shorter stays than in years past. This shift places added pressures on small community hospitals, like St. Margaret's and IVCH.
  • Additional expertise, resources and partnerships are also necessary to implement new population health initiatives that address the health needs of entire communities.
  • The IVCH Board and leadership team began a comprehensive strategic planning process in the summer of 2017 and completed its analysis in the spring of 2018.
  • Upon completion of IVCH's strategic plan, the IVCH Board and leadership team spent the last eight months evaluating IVCH's strategic opportunities, including aligning more closely with another hospital or a health system.
  • The Board determined that a mutually-beneficial affiliation with another health system would allow IVCH to preserve and enhance the clinical services available to the residents of the Illinois Valley. IVCH approached st. Margaret's to consider an affiliation.

What are the goals of this affiliation?

  • By combining our operations, we will be able to provide more high-quality, efficient and locally coordinated care for our patients.
  • St. Margaret's Health and IVCH have each served this region for more than 100 years. We recognized that coming together is in the best interest of our patients, given the dramatic changes in the healthcare delivery system,
  • The residents of our communities have also long encouraged our hospitals to work more closely together
  • Our hospitals already successfully collaborate on joint initiatives, such as Valley Regional Health Services and Valley Regional Cancer Center.
  • The two hospitals support a shared vision for efficiently delivering high-quality healthcare in the region.
  • Together, we intend to create a sustainable regional health network that will be able to meet the needs of our communities, today and long into the future.
  • The IVCH Board of Directors set forth very clear objectives for an affiliation, including:
    • Improve care quality and lower costs
    • Keep more patients close to home, including expanding clinical offerings where appropriate
    • Stabilize financial performance to ensure long-term sustainability
    • Recruit and retain physicians and other professionals in a strategic way
    • Protect employees, to the degree possible
  • This potential affiliation best meets these objectives and the needs of our communities.

What happens next?

  • This is just the beginning of the process, so no changes will happen immediately.
  • Over the coming months, SMP Health System, St. Margaret's and IVCH will be having in-depth conversations, conducting due diligence and exploring opportunities for collaboration.
  • The best interests of our patients, medical staff, employees and our communities will be driving our decisions throughout this process.
  • Following receipt of approval from Church and regulatory authorities, the goal of the two organizations is to sign a binding Definitive Agreement in the months ahead.

What will this mean for patients?

  • St. Margaret's Health and IVCH will work collaboratively to offer comprehensive, high-quality services so our patients can receive the care they need close to home. We can do this more effectively working together than apart.
  • We hope to make this process as smooth as possible for our patients, staff and communities.
  • Our patients will be able to expect superior healthcare delivered in the same compassionate manner. What services will the health network provide?
  • The new regional health network will look to grow and enhance the healthcare services available in our community.
  • What services will be expanded and where they will be located are important questions that we will be addressing during this process.
  • We intend to continue operating both hospital campuses for now, until we are able to bring our operations together. We hope that one day we will be able to build a new hospital for the region.

When will a new hospital be built?

  • This announcement marks the beginning of what will be a robust period of due diligence. It is too early to know specific details about facilities, service lines or capital investments.

Will there be layoffs?

  • There are no immediate plans for staff reductions.
  • Staff retention is a priority for our organizations. However, after affiliation, we could possibly find areas of duplication that may require reorganization or reduction.

What will happen to the Medical Staff?

  • We intend to foster collaboration between the medical staffs of our organizations, with details to be fleshed out during the affiliation process.

Will staff salaries and benefits change?

  • Staff salaries and benefits will be consistent with the SMP Health System structure.

How will governance work?

  • The new regional health network will be governed by a Board of Directors, to be initially comprised of representatives from SMP Health System/St. Margaret's (60%) and IVCH (40%).
  • Over the next five years, the Board will evolve so that representation is not based on predecessor hospital affiliation. SMP Health System will be the sole parent of the regional entity. The regional entity will be the sole parent of both St. Margaret's Health and IVCH.

Will lVCH follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (EROs)?

  • As an affiliate of SMP Health System, IVCH will abide by the EROs .

Where can I get more information?

  • SMP Health System/St. Margaret's and IVCH are committed to sharing information throughout this process. Stay tuned for more information!
  • We are excited about the opportunity an affiliation presents, to better serve our communities. We are grateful for your ongoing support.