Newswise — The University of Chicago Medicine and Ingalls Health System have joined forces in an alliance that combines a top community hospital in Chicago’s Southland with one of the country’s leading academic medical institutions.
Harvey-based Ingalls is now part of the UChicago Medicine brand, which comprises the University of Chicago Medical Center, Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Medicine. The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) becomes Ingalls’ corporate parent, and Ingalls will remain under the direction of President and Chief Executive Kurt E. Johnson.
“This partnership underscores our shared values in quality, innovation, superior outcomes and commitment to the communities we serve,” Johnson said. “It will enable Ingalls to continue to reinvest in our existing clinical facilities, expand our outpatient services and bring innovative new technologies to patients at a much faster pace.”
The merged health systems will improve access across the spectrum of care — be it for a routine, preventative checkup or a complex, life-sustaining treatment such as organ transplantation. “In the near future, our patients will be able to tap a wider array of services from a larger pool of physicians in various locations,” Johnson added.
Both organizations will retain their names and operating licensure, and Ingalls will maintain a local board of directors and have representation on the UCMC Board. No money was exchanged under terms of the merger. The transaction joins assets to create a hospital system that is stronger combined than each institution is individually. That includes Ingalls’ five outpatient centers, as well as UChicago Medicine’s main medical campus in Hyde Park, planned ambulatory facilities in Orland Park and the South Loop, and expansive network of physicians.
“UChicago Medicine has vast expertise in highly complex care and research studies such as clinical trials, and Ingalls has expertise in quality care in the community hospital setting,” said Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, executive vice president of medical affairs and dean of the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. “Once fully integrated, this union will provide an array of services and choices for patients that encompass convenient, community-based health care and world-class academic medicine.”
Integration planning of the two organizations will begin in the coming days. Johnson and University of Chicago Medical Center President Sharon O’Keefe, both of whom will report to Polonsky, will co-chair an integration committee. They will work with leadership from both hospitals to find better ways to deliver care to patients and communities that they collectively serve.
“Our common core values in patient care and community will guide our future. We will focus on creating a system that unlocks the strengths of academic and community medicine,” Polonsky said. “While the integration will take some time, we will make sure all our patients have access to the physicians, services and treatments they need and that they continue to get the same level of care they’ve come to expect at both Ingalls and UChicago Medicine.”
The merger news comes after more than 10 months of exclusive negotiations, regulatory approvals and other due diligence. The two organizations announced in November 2015 the decision to sign a letter of intent to pursue a combined system that would complement and enhance health care throughout the South and Southwest area of Chicago.
The merger follows Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approval and Federal Trade Commission review. Ingalls’ Board of Directors voted Sept. 22 to approve the terms of the merger agreement, followed a week later by UCMC’s Board of Trustees.
Founded in 1890, the University of Chicago opened its first hospital in 1927 and has added facilities to its Hyde Park campus since then, most recently in February 2013 with the Center for Care and Discovery. Ingalls, which has been serving patients since 1923, is UChicago Medicine’s first community hospital.
“Ingalls has a 93-year history of caring for all people regardless of their ability to pay and remains committed to that value,” Johnson added. “From the very beginning, Ingalls sought a partner with a similar mission and values and a like-minded vision for health care in the Southland. We are extremely proud that partner is the internationally renowned and respected UChicago Medicine, and we look forward to working together to improve the health of the communities we serve.”
About Ingalls Health System Ingalls Health System offers a regional network of top-rated outpatient services in modern settings close to home. It features innovative service offerings, such as macular degeneration treatment from retinal specialists, spine surgery from renowned experts, and more oncology clinical trials than any other community hospital in the region. Ingalls shows its community stewardship in myriad ways, such as free screening events, educational programs and health fairs that reach thousands of south suburban residents. Ingalls has a 473-bed hospital in Harvey, Ill., with 450 physicians in 30 medical and surgical specialties, plus Ingalls Center for Outpatient Rehabilitation in South Holland, Ingalls Care Center in Crestwood, and Family Care Centers in Calumet City, Flossmoor and Tinley Park. Within this system, it also has Ingalls Cancer Care, Ingalls Advanced Orthopedic Institute, Ingalls Heart Care Center and Ingalls Home Care & Hospice.
About the University of Chicago Medicine & Biological SciencesThe University of Chicago Medicine, located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, is one of the nation's leading academic medical institutions. It includes the Medical Center, Pritzker School of Medicine and the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division. The Medical Center comprises the Center for Care and Discovery, Bernard Mitchell Hospital, Comer Children’s Hospital and Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine and offers a full range of specialty-care services for adults and children through more than 40 institutes and centers including an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. It has 805 licensed beds, nearly 850 attending physicians, about 2,500 nurses and over 1,100 residents and fellows. Off-campus affiliations and partnerships include Silver Cross Hospital for cancer care, Little Company of Mary Hospital for specialty pediatric care and Edward-Elmhurst Health for specialty pediatric care.