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IU Health La Porte Hospital reaches agreement to solidify the future of healthcare for community

An IU Health Starke Hospital Release

—The Board of Directors of IU Health La Porte Hospital, subsidiaries of Community Health Systems (CHS), and Indiana University Health have reached a definitive agreement to create a new organization that will solidify the ability of the La Porte and Starke Hospitals to provide high quality, accessible care to their community long into the future. This is the next step in a process that began in March, when IU Health La Porte announced the intent to enter into exclusive negotiations with CHS.

The agreement, which is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2016, will transition Indiana University Health into a minority ownership role of IU Health La Porte and Starke hospitals. IU Health will own 20 percent, and CHS subsidiaries will own 80 percent. IU Health will share equal governance of the new organization, ensuring that a local voice is included in all future decisions.

“Affiliating with CHS and continuing our relationship with IU Health will give momentum to our vision that the communities we serve locally will rank among the top 10 healthiest communities in Indiana by 2030,” said Scott Siefker, Board Chair of IU Health La Porte Hospital. “As Board members, we are all deeply committed to the health and wellbeing of these communities that we live and play in, so when this transition is finalized, we will know that we’ve helped accomplish something monumental. This has been a community-guided process, where we considered the input of front line hospital colleagues, physicians, community members and leaders. We are pleased to have come to an agreement and look forward to seeing it to fruition in 2016.”

“We are pleased to be able to continue our long standing relationship with IU Health La Porte and Starke hospitals,” said Ryan Kitchell, IU Health’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  “This new arrangement will enhance patient care and service, as well as continue to provide access to the specialty care available within the IU Health system.”

The change, when finalized, will bring significant investment to La Porte and Starke counties. A new, independent charitable foundation, the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, has been established to receive proceeds from the change in ownership and will be dedicated to investing in healthcare initiatives in the communities served by IU Health La Porte and Starke hospitals. This foundation will be governed and managed locally.

“This is a very important step for our organization and one that will have a profound impact on our ability to improve the health of our patients and the communities we serve. I’m looking forward to a period of significant growth that builds upon the rich history of excellence and innovation in healthcare dating back to the 1800s. To be able to add to this legacy in such a way is extremely gratifying,” said G. Thor Thordarson, President of IU Health La Porte Hospital.

For IU Health Starke Hospital communities, the change will mean a solidified commitment to healthcare in this rural area.

“Since beginning our relationship with IU Health La Porte Hospital, we have seen our hospital and physician network grow and thrive,” said Craig Felty, President of IU Health Starke Hospital. “In a time when rural hospitals are going by the wayside, this speaks volumes to our successes, and we are very pleased to be able to execute a strategic direction that has growth, stability and mission-driven health at the core,” Felty said.

CHS has committed to making significant investments in healthcare developments in La Porte and Starke counties. IU Health La Porte and Starke hospitals will become local taxpayers, providing an important source of new tax revenue to support the local economy. In addition, charity care policies will remain in place to ensure the community’s most vulnerable can still receive the care they need. The hospitals will retain their current names at this time.

Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the largest investor-owned, publicly-traded hospital companies in the nation. CHS operates nearly 200 hospitals in 29 states across the nation, including nine hospitals in Indiana. The organization has a track record of successfully enhancing hospital operations, advancing quality, and supporting care through capital investment, physician recruitment, and other resources required for success. Just as important, CHS is committed to honoring local hospital values and culture.

To learn more about the affiliation process and history, CHS, or to ask questions, visit


The mission of IU Health La Porte Hospital is to improve the health of our patients and communities.

Go to IU Health Starke Newsroom