YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Four local hospitals have been sold to Steward Health Care, LLC, a for-profit company.
The acquisition includes ValleyCare Health System of Ohio hospitals — Northside Medical Center in Youngstown and Trumbull Memorial Hospital and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Warren — and Sharon Regional Health System in Sharon, Pa.
There are two town hall meetings on Friday for Northside employees. They will be held at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Politis Auditorium.
Community Health Systems, Inc. signed an agreement to be affiliated with Steward Health Care. The acquisition includes the sale of the hospital and associated assets.
“That’s always a concern, yes. So we hope to work with them and grow for the community,” Laurie Hornberger said.
Hornberger, president of the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association, said she found out about the news from reporters, including WKBN. She got confirmation from the Chief Operating Officer at Northside Medical Center in Youngstown.
As of Thursday evening, Hornberger said there was no formal call from Steward Health Care to the nurses union.
Right now, Northside Medical Center is for-profit but Hornberger said it’s been a challenge working for a for-profit hospital. She said she’s watched Northside shrink.
ValleyCare is a big employer in the Mahoning Valley. Part of the sale includes a commitment from Steward Health Care to offer employment to every active employee in good standing when the transaction is complete. Physicians and medical staff also in good standing will still have privileges.
“I’m hoping to grow staffing so we can grow services here. I don’t want to see cutbacks,” Hornberger said.
Steward’s CEO said the company is looking forward to working with ValleyCare and Sharon Regional.
Hornberger said they are “absolutely open” to hearing what Steward Health Care has to say.
“Hopefully it’s exciting. Time to have a change.”
Jason Roeback, CEO of Sharon Regional, said the hospital will continue to provide needed services through the support of Steward Health Care.
“Working with the same physicians and caregivers our patients trust, we look forward to using these new resources to enhance the care and experience we deliver.”
“Our hospital plays a crucial role in providing convenient and quality health care for our patients,” said John Walsh, chief executive officer of Trumbull Memorial Hospital. “Steward Health Care will help us maintain our critical position as an anchor institution and employer in the community.”
Steward Health Care System is based in Boston and one of the largest employers in Massachusetts.
The company’s goal is to deliver access to higher quality care in local communities while lowering costs and improving access, according to a press release. Steward executives said its model will fit with the care ValleyCare Health System has been providing.
It is an Accountable Care Organization, meaning it focuses on integrated care to keep patients healthier.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Current ownership will remain until then.
Another Pennsylvania hospital closer to Philadelphia and three in Florida will also be affected by the acquisition.