CENTRAL VALLEY: Adventist to Buy Selma District Hospital
Adventist Health is on the verge of finalizing the purchase of its fifth hospital in central California, but the $2.2 billion system remains a "niche player" next to giants like Catholic Healthcare West or Sutter Health, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. Adventist is slated to buy Selma District Hospital for $8 million. Local voters approved the sale of the public hospital June 8 by a margin of 92% to 8%. Adventist will now own three small hospitals in the Hanford area. Consultant Albert Lowey-Ball said, "They've avoided making major investments in areas they don't know much about." The company grossed $2.2 billion last year, up from $1.9 billion in 1997, but last year's net of $20.5 million was down 65% from 1997's $55.5 million. Even that gain was largely thanks to investment income, as its operating margins landed squarely in the red, with $4.5 million in operating losses. The deal to buy Selma District Hospital is expected to close by the end of July (Robertson, 6/28 issue).
Holy Cross Health Systems, which owns Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, "has signed a letter of intent to merge with Michigan- based Mercy Health System in a deal that would create the third- largest Catholic health system in the United States," the Fresno Bee reports. Sister Patricia Vandenberg, president and CEO of Holy Cross Health System, said the consolidation would "build on the strengths and traditions of both health systems" and that there "would be no changes in the provision of patient care services at Saint Agnes" (Correa, 6/29).