WILKES BARRE, February 15, 2011 –State Sens. John Yudichak and John P. Blake commented today on the outcome of the sale of the remaining Mercy hospitals to Tennessee-based Community Health Systems (CHS).

“Mercy Hospital has been a long standing asset to the citizens of Scranton and Northeastern PA,” Yudichak said. “Its affiliation with Community Health Systems is encouraging for Mercy hospitals, its staff and the community. It is my hope that through this affiliation Mercy hospital’s mission as a faith-based facility, as well as the outstanding level of care will remain the same.”

Blake added, “Mercy Hospital has been an extraordinarily important asset and has maintained a tradition of providing quality health care to the citizens of Scranton and of Northeastern PA for over 100 years. The news that Community Health Systems will purchase Mercy Health Partners facilities is encouraging in that a successful transition will ensure Mercy’s tradition of care is sustained in this community.”

Some benefits of the sale include:

  • The infusion of $68 million dollars in capital investment in the Mercy Health Partners-Northeast facilities in the first five years
  • The hiring of all employees in good standing at the time the sale is complete
  • The continuation of relationships with all physicians in good standing at the time the sale is complete and currently serving on medical staffs of the hospitals
  • The donation of $2 million to a newly created foundation to be used for activities that promote healthcare in the community
  • Continuation of charity care to indigent patients
  • Continuation of all essential services at the hospitals for at least five years

“With the uncertain economic climate and the changes coming to healthcare, this was a good option for Mercy Health Partners-Northeast,” Yudichak said. “Jobs will remain intact and the hospitals will continue to provide affordable, accessible care to those in need. This partnership presents key investment opportunities for the area. With strong financial backing from Community Health Systems, these hospitals can get back to the business of helping this community.”

Blake said, “I am encouraged by the announcements by CHS that they will continue the charity care policies that were a hallmark of Mercy Health Partners and that they will maintain the facilities’ chaplaincy programs, as well as the religious symbols that serve to remind this community of Mercy’s founding faith and its guiding principles. I want to express my support for the great workforce upon which CHS will rely in the provision of quality health care in this community and I look forward to meeting with representatives of CHS upon the conclusion of the Attorney General’s review of the sale.”

Blake added that he commends CHS plan to invest nearly $70 million in the Mercy facilities in Northeastern PA and provide a $2 Million philanthropic commitment to wellness

The sale still has to be reviewed by the state Attorney General’s Office, as well as regulatory, church and other approvals.

Mercy Health Partners-Northeast has launched a new website, www.CareForOurCommunity.com to keep the community up-to-date on the details of the sale.

The hospitals acquired in the sale include Mercy Hospital Scranton, Mercy Tyler Hospital-Tunkhannock and Mercy Special Care Hospital, Nanticoke. Also included in the sale are several associated medical office buildings, physician practices, clinics and ancillary services. All together, these facilities employ more than 1,700 people.

Yudichak added that with the changing climate of healthcare, he hopes that Mercy hospitals remain committed to affordable, accessible healthcare and that the integrity of the hospital system is maintained.

Community Health Systems already owns 10 hospitals in Pennsylvania and owns, operates or leases 126 community hospitals across the country.

# # #