Ascension, the nation’s leading Catholic and non-profit health system, and Presence Health, a leading Catholic health system in Illinois, have signed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) for Presence Health to join Ascension and become part of AMITA Health, a joint venture of Ascension’s Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health, which is part of Adventist Health System. Through this transaction, Presence Health would add its medical centers, outpatient facilities and other sites of care to the integrated health system of AMITA Health, with the goal of enhancing patient care while reducing costs throughout the Illinois communities served by the combined organizations. All Presence Health facilities would become part of AMITA Health except Presence Life Connections, which would join Ascension Living, Ascension’s senior care subsidiary.

“The mission, values and history of Presence Health clearly align well with those of Ascension, as both systems are dedicated to caring for all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable,” said Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ascension.We believe this will strengthen Catholic healthcare not only in the region but throughout the country as we are all dedicated to delivering personalized, compassionate care.”

“Since we brought together Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health to form AMITA Health two years ago, we’ve always looked for opportunities to add like-minded partners with similar values to our system,” said Mark Frey, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMITA Health and Senior Vice President of Ascension Healthcare, a division of Ascension. “Bringing Presence Health into Ascension and AMITA Health is a perfect fit and an exciting continuation of our commitment to increase access to quality healthcare in the many communities we serve.”

The transaction would further Presence Health’s and AMITA Health’s aligned commitment to the mission of faith-based healthcare and bring added benefits to those they serve as they continue their long traditions of providing high-quality care and meeting the needs of their communities, especially those who are poor and underserved. In addition, the highly successful Accountable Care Organizations of both systems would allow AMITA Health, with the addition of Presence Health, to even more efficiently and effectively address the growing emphasis on managing the health of large populations.

“Joining Ascension and AMITA Health is a natural evolution for Presence Health, especially given the mutual respect between our systems and our shared mission, vision and values to provide quality, faith-based care,” said Michael Englehart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Presence Health. “We look forward to working together to engage in this joint effort to expand, and continue to deliver, quality care for our patients and residents, as well as provide additional clinical opportunities and patient care resources to all our physicians and associates.”

With this transaction, AMITA Health will increase people’s access to care, expand the system’s physician network and deepen sub-specialization capabilities, producing better value for patients. The LOI is expected to lead to a definitive agreement pending detailed legal and financial due diligence, along with regulatory and canonical approval.