Marshfield Clinic planning to buy St. Joseph's Hospital

Published: Mar. 11, 2016 at 11:53 AM CST
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Marshfield Clinic is planning to purchase St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.

According to a post on the clinic's website, a memorandum of understanding has been signed with Ascension Health--the company that owns Ministry.

The plan to break ground for a brand-new hospital in Marshfield was expected to start already the spring. Now, those plans have been tabled, while Marshfield clinic and Ascension, the owner of Ministry St. Joseph's, work out the transaction and transition details.

Marshfield Clinic leader said the purchase of the hospital will restore services that have been reduced there, as well as boost its staffing.

"We can't build a new facility as soon as we would need to in order to meet continuous services. So the opportunity to buy St. Joseph's hospital gives us the opportunity to maintain continuous tertiary care services, service without interruption,” explained Jerard Jensen, Marshfield Clinic Council.

He said they anticipate no major disruption for the roughly 1,000 St. Joseph's Hospital employees, but cannot guarantee that every employee will keep their job.

Marshfield Mayor Chris Meyer said this purchase plan is positive news for the city and was the best possible outcome for both facilities. He said with the initial plan to build new hospital it left a lot of uncertainty for hospital employees at St. Joseph's. But, this plan adds stability.

Steve Barg, Marshfield's City Administrator, said he sees quality patient care continuing as the clinic moves forward with its purchase plan.

"I think it's just going to continue to strengthen," said Barg.

Barg says there was some uncertainty that flooded the community when it came to an initial plan for Marshfield Clinic to build a brand new hospital.

"There was a concern that if those people were not able to stay employed and they had to leave the community, that the housing market might be flooded with homes, house prices could be reduced and other stores could suffer," Barg added.

He said this new plan is an overall good announcement for the city, that's population nearly doubles during the day, thanks to Marshfield Clinic and St. Joseph's Hospital.

"Hotel stays, restaurants, they all benefit from people coming to town, taking loved ones in for appointments to stay the night with them and those types of things. So the amount of economic development activity that comes from the hospital is immeasurable," Barg said.

While the plan has yet to be finalized, the Clinic hopes the transition will be completed already this year. NewsChannel 7 reached out to Ministry for comment but our calls were not returned.

"Our purchase of Saint Joseph’s Hospital will ensure that critical services such as trauma, pediatrics, cardiology, neurology and others remain accessible for the residents in the region. Our commitment to enriching lives through accessible, affordable, compassionate healthcare has resulted in the recent opening of our comfort and recovery suites in Marshfield, Wausau and Eau Claire, and the recent recognition of Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake as a Top 100 Hospital" -- memo on