UW Health: SwedishAmerican, UW Health to merge

Contacts: Lisa Brunette
Email: [email protected]

Paul Greenland
Email: [email protected]

Katryna Kirby
Email: [email protected]

ROCKFORD & MADISON – SwedishAmerican Health System and UW Health have signed a definitive agreement to merge the organizations and make SwedishAmerican an integral part of UW Health. The definitive agreement follows a letter of intent announced in April of 2014. Pending state and federal regulatory approvals, UW Health and SwedishAmerican expect to finalize the transaction in January of 2015. UW Health is an academic health center anchored by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in partnership with UW Hospital and Clinics and UW Medical Foundation.

“This agreement means better patient care in the Rockford region,” said Tom Walsh, chairman of the Rockford based SwedishAmerican board. “It provides significant new investment in this community and respects the strong history and tradition of SwedishAmerican by maintaining existing leadership and local decision-making, including major sponsorship of important community projects and other not for profit agencies.”

According to Walsh, additional resources will be available in Rockford with greater access to medical specialties, research and physicians as SwedishAmerican becomes integrated with UW Health. Already, 19 specialists with academic appointments at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health see patients in Rockford at SwedishAmerican clinics and hospitals. These types of services will grow.

Walsh said that SwedishAmerican will retain its name and identity as a division of UW Health, presented in its new logo.

SwedishAmerican maintains its local board with responsibility for local governance and policy making. Management remains local with responsibility for day-to-day operations and decision making. Dr. Bill Gorski continues as the president and CEO of SwedishAmerican and will report to both the SwedishAmerican board and the board of University Health Care, Inc., the not-for-profit organization that facilitates relationships with health systems on behalf of UW Health.

The agreement includes $255 million in capital over the next five years invested in the Rockford market for information technology, hospital infrastructure, and new clinical care locations. Combined, the organizations’ net revenues are approximately $3 billion.

“In addition to its world class reputation for medical care and treatments, UW Health has been a recognized leader in developing community and population health management strategies,” said Dr. Gorski. “Together, we will implement these strategies as we continue to address health care issues locally, regionally and nationally.”

Dr. Jeffrey Grossman, senior associate dean for clinical affairs at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and president and CEO of UW Medical Foundation, said “UW Health seeks partners like SwedishAmerican who share our commitment to enhancing the health of the communities we serve. As we have worked closely together, we have confirmed that we share a set of values focused on continually improving our approach to delivering community-based health care. This merger is about providing better health care at the local level.”

Ron Sliwinski, president and CEO of UW Hospital and Clinics agrees: “We’ve long recognized SwedishAmerican as the leading health system in Northern Illinois. We look forward to working collaboratively with our new partners to meet the challenges of a changing health care environment.”

SwedishAmerican is a not-for-profit healthcare system headquartered in Rockford, Illinois comprised of two hospitals, 30 clinics, a home health care agency and a foundation. The local market-share leader, SwedishAmerican has received numerous awards for quality and preference from major state and national organizations.

UW Health is an academic health center associated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
It includes:

– UW School of Medicine and Public Health with its core missions of education, basic, translational, clinical and population health research;
– UW Hospital and Clinics, Magnet-designated and rated the #1 hospital in Wisconsin by US News and World Report, a 592-bed regional referral center that includes the 87-bed American Family Children’s Hospital;
– The Carbone Cancer Center, one of 41 federally designated comprehensive centers for cancer treatment and research with a network of affiliates;
– The nation’s seventh largest organ transplant program;
– UW Medical Foundation, the school’s faculty group practice with approximately 1,300 physicians in 98 specialties.