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Nation’s Largest Catholic Health System Implements New Organizational Structure

By on January 24, 2012 in National Health News with 0 Comments

by Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

The nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit healthcare system, Ascension Health, announced the formation of a new holding company, Ascension Health Alliance. Ascension is the St. Louis based parent of Austin’s Seton Healthcare Family.

The new organizational structure took effect the first of the year and will be led by its new president, Anthony R. Tersigni, former President and CEO of Ascension Health.

Anthony R. Tersigni, President of Ascension Health Alliance. Phoro: Ascension Health

“We recognize that healthcare has changed dramatically since Ascension Health was formed 12 years ago,” Tersigni said. “That rapid change is continuing, and in order to carry out our Mission to serve all with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable – as well as meet our long-term goals to lead the transformation of healthcare – we needed to structure our organization to operate effectively in a changing environment. This new structure will increase clarity, focus and accountability.”

The new organization structure is designed to accomplish a number of goals:

  • Increased focus and accountability on delivery of a full range of services to meet the needs of communities through Ascension Health.
  • Organize high-performing, optimized services to support the needs of Ascension Health and Ascension Health Care Network – the organization’s joint venture that provides an alternative funding source for the purchase of hospitals, ensuring that Catholic hospitals are able to maintain their Catholic identity.
  • Provide a solutions incubator to build on the transformational development activities under way, and address additional responsibilities to develop innovative relationships, provide evaluative research capabilities and create new opportunities that support the Mission.
  • Build Ascension Health Care Network (AHCN) to fulfill its role in strengthening Catholic healthcare.

These four areas will work cooperatively with the support of Ascension Health Alliance. The Alliance will be focused on enhancing the value of each area, helping coordinate activities and creating new value for the ministry.

“Our goal is to deliver person-centered care with a consistent exceptional experience,” said Tersigni. “In addition to operating the best hospitals and clinics, that means becoming a lifetime partner with individuals in maintaining and improving their health, delivering health information and care when and how they want it. Ascension Health will now be more closely focused on the delivery of care.”

Current organizations that were part of Ascension Health will now be subsidiaries of Ascension Health Alliance.

“By restructuring our organization, these subsidiaries now have greater independence and focus,” Tersigni explained. “We believe they have tremendous potential to help others in Catholic healthcare and better support our Mission. In addition, we will be forming new subsidiaries focused on providing services in other areas.”

According to Tersigni the goal to strengthen Catholic healthcare remains unchanged. The Alliance is designed to welcome other Catholic healthcare organizations into the Ascension Health Care Network.

Work on the new structure began last year as Ascension Health focused on refining its Strategic Direction, the organization’s guide to help it lead the transformation of healthcare by 2020. During much of the year the Ascension Health Board of Trustees and Sponsor worked with executive management and outside consultants to develop a structure that would make sense for the future needs of the ministry.


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