Memorial Hospital receives permission to explore long-term partnership with Deaconess

Special to The Message

Jasper’s Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center have received permission from Evansville Bishop Joseph M. Siegel to enter a non-binding Letter of Intent with Deaconess Health System of Evansville to explore a long-term partnership that would enable MHHCC to continue its long history of Catholic medical and healthcare. 

In September 2021, MHHCC announced its intent to secure a new sponsor, noting that the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary would eventually not have the capacity to provide ongoing sponsorship for Memorial Hospital and its healthcare ministry. As a strategic next step, the board of directors and administrative staff immediately began a deliberate process spanning the last 18 months to create a long-term solution for MHHCC that will support its mission and culture well into the future. 

Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center and Deaconess Health System have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent for the organizations to affiliate. The LOI includes significant commitments for continued investment in Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center. This affiliation represents a strong commitment for MHHCC employees, the medical staff and the services provided at MHHCC. The LOI was reviewed and approved by the Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center board of directors. 

Jim Huebner, MHHCC Board Chairperson said, “We are excited to announce the first step toward an affiliation with Deaconess Health System that will allow Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center to maintain its culture as a Catholic organization known for faith-based, high-quality care and will ensure the commitment to the community to retain appropriate local decision making.” 

“This decision is the right choice to secure our future, enabling our employees and medical staff to provide high-quality, compassionate care to the communities we serve for years to come,” said E. Kyle Bennett, MHHCC President and CEO. 

“Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center has a proud history and tradition in Dubois County and surrounding communities,” said Shawn McCoy, CEO of Deaconess Health System. “Deaconess strongly believes in the importance of local decisions and local leadership for healthcare organizations. Our affiliation will continue to promote this local focus, and collaboration with the physicians, leaders and staff at MHHCC and will ensure this affiliation is beneficial to the communities we serve now and in the future.” 

The Letter of Intent continues Memorial Hospital’s 71-year Catholic legacy and its connection to the communities it serves. It provides for an ongoing commitment to advancing Memorial’s existing mission and unique culture as a faith-based Catholic hospital governed by its local board of directors. In addition, philanthropy and volunteer support will continue to benefit MHHCC and the community. 

Little Company of Mary Sister Renee Cunningham, secretary of the board of directors said, “We remain committed to our Mission, our employees, our medical staff and the communities we serve as we continue this process.” 

With the Letter of Intent signed, Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center and Deaconess Health System now begin work on a definitive agreement. A final agreement for the affiliation is subject to completion of due diligence, consensus on a definitive agreement by both parties, as well as regulatory and Catholic Church approvals.