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La Porte Health System Now Affiliated With Community Health Systems, Inc.

An IU Health Starke Hospital Release

—La Porte Health System Now Affiliated With Community Health Systems, Inc.

La Porte, Ind. – The Board of Directors for La Porte Hospital announced today that effective March 1, 2016, La Porte and Starke hospitals, outpatient clinics, physician network and other facilities have become affiliates of Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS). A subsidiary of CHS has majority ownership of the health system (80 percent) and IU Health retains 20 percent ownership.

The agreement is a significant milestone for La Porte and Starke counties. In the agreement, CHS has made a $140 million commitment toward strategic projects such as new services, new technology, and physician recruitment, including replacement hospitals in La Porte and Starke counties. In addition, proceeds from the sale of the 80-percent interest have gone to the newly-created Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, a separate locally-managed private foundation that will have substantial assets to exclusively support health initiatives in the communities served by La Porte and Starke hospitals.

Beyond capital dollars for new hospitals and resources, the following commitments have been made:

Employees in good standing have been hired into the same positions, at the same rate of pay, with their years of service recognized.
Medical staff privileges are continuing with all physicians in good standing currently serving on the hospitals’ medical staffs.
The hospitals will continue charity care policies to help serve indigent patients and participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Local boards of trustees will be composed of community leaders and members of the hospitals’ medical staffs.

“When I think about the positive impact that this new agreement will have, I’m inspired by the fact that we have created the health system our community members in La Porte and Starke counties will need to become healthier and live well for generations to come,” said Scott Siefker, chairman of the La Porte Hospital Board of Directors. “This process involved hundreds of hours of time by our volunteer board members, immense support from our local legal team, and input from hospital colleagues, physicians, and the community. The level of leadership, expertise, civic pride, volunteerism, and genuine care for our communities that has been present throughout the process is reminiscent of the same qualities our healthcare forefathers had while planting the seeds of healthcare in La Porte in the 1800s. Once again, we have made history, and as a community member here in La Porte, I’m very thankful to all those involved.”

Siefker said it was very important to the Board of Directors to purposefully structure the agreement to ensure proceeds stayed local.

G. Thor Thordarson, CEO of La Porte Hospital, said the finalized agreement marks the starting line for a period of significant growth. “We are now poised to continue the hard work of improving the health of our patients and communities through growth in healthcare services across the region. We know that if we improve access, and address community health from a three-pronged approach – illness care, wellness services, and health promotion – we will achieve our vision of landing in Indiana’s top ten healthiest communities by 2030. We look forward to sharing these initiatives with the community in the coming months.”

Thordarson said he also looks forward to maintaining a close relationship with the La Porte Hospital Foundation, and subsequently the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte as it moves forward.

The La Porte Hospital Foundation, which celebrated its 37th birthday in 2015, will be absorbed into the new Healthcare Foundation of La Porte over time, preserving the current funds and membership, and ensuring that all gifts received will continue to be used for their intended purposes.

“For almost as long as La Porte Hospital has existed, the La Porte Hospital Foundation has been an integral part of addressing patient needs and community health. To see that legacy preserved, and to see that our communities will now have even greater access to health programming resources as the two foundations come together, is extremely rewarding,” Thordarson said. “We look forward to walking side by side with the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte to continually identify community health needs in La Porte and Starke and grow services to address them.”

The community can learn more about the history of healthcare in La Porte and the affiliation process by visiting visionfornwi.org.

Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the largest publicly-traded hospital companies in the United States and a leading operator of general acute care hospitals in communities across the country. Through its subsidiaries, the Company currently owns, leases or operates 197 affiliated hospitals in 29 states with an aggregate of approximately 30,000 licensed beds. The Company’s headquarters are located in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb south of Nashville. Shares in Community Health Systems, Inc. are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CYH.” More information about the Company can be found on its website at www.chs.net.

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