Little Company of Mary Hospital

Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH), 2800 W. 95th St. (Review file photo)

One year after a deal fell through, Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers (LCMH) is in negotiations to merge with another health system.

In a new release issued on July 17, officials said that LCMH and OSF HealthCare, a Catholic health system based out of Peoria, “have entered a period of exclusive negotiations, anticipating a full merger.”

The merger is expected to take place in early 2020.

John Hanlon, president and CEO of LCMH, expressed confidence in the partnership in the release.

“As health care continues to evolve, we have the responsibility to ensure that we are planning for the future—both in terms of technology and innovation as well as preserving Catholic health care,” Hanlon said. “OSF HealthCare is a leader in transforming health care, and we believe our firm foundation of faith and collective sense of purpose and mission will allow for sustained quality, coordinated care and innovation.”

According to the release, the agreement would also allow LCMH and OSF to share services, develop and expand academic partnerships, and create strategies to meet the unique needs of various populations.

LCMH, founded by the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary in 1930, has 2,100 employees and has 12 facilities in and around the Southwest Side, including a 252-bed acute care hospital in Evergreen Park.

OSF HealthCare is owned and operated by the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis and has 126 locations, including 13 hospitals and two nursing colleges.

The system employs about 21,000 people.

“Partnership development, particularly with other mission-driven organizations, is a key component of how we are successfully responding to the call to share our Ministry,” said Bob Sehring, CEO of OSF HealthCare. “We have long admired the strong Catholic heritage and commitment to the gift of life demonstrated by Little Company of Mary, and we believe that together we can create better health and deliver value for our communities.”

Officials from LCMH and the Rush system announced in October 2017 that they had signed a non-binding letter of intent to merge, but in April 2018, they said both parties had “mutually agreed to terminate their integration discussions,” offering no other details.

According to the release, additional information will be forthcoming on the merger with OSF.

An updated story will appear in the July 24 issue of The Beverly Review.