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Statement of the Archdiocese of Boston/Caritas Christi Health Care and Ascension Health

by
6/28/2007

June 28, 2007...The Archdiocese of Boston/Caritas Christi Health Care and Ascension Health today issued the following joint statement:

"In February, the Archdiocese of Boston, Caritas Christi Health Care and Ascension Health entered into good faith discussions to explore a change in sponsorship of the Caritas Christi Health system. In considering a potential relationship, we sought to align two strong and leading healthcare systems that share a similar commitment to Catholic healthcare.

As in any negotiation of this scale, we approached the process with a clear understanding of the need for the parties to reach agreement on numerous terms in order to move forward. While we hoped to reach a definitive agreement, regrettably, after months of good faith efforts, we have collectively determined that is not possible and we have agreed not to pursue an affiliation."

The Archdiocese and Caritas Christi Health Care also made the following statement:

"We remain committed to continuing the delivery of high-quality Catholic healthcare long into the future. Our full focus is on operating the Caritas Christi Health Care System independently and to build on the strengths of the integrated delivery system. Caritas Christi includes a geographically diverse group of 6 hospitals who are key providers in their markets. The system has enjoyed two consecutive profitable years and anticipates profitability again this year. We will take the steps necessary to make the System even more successful.

We are resuming an aggressive search under the leadership of John Kaneb to select a permanent Chief Executive Officer who can meet the challenges and opportunities identified through the strategic review process as priorities for the future.

While we continue to strengthen the Caritas Christi Health Care system and work to ensure a strong future for Catholic healthcare in this archdiocese, we remain open to exploring an appropriate and mutually agreeable affiliation that provides an opportunity to enhance the quality and accessibility of Catholic health care not just within the Caritas network, but throughout the region."

Ascension Health added this statement:

"Like the Archdiocese of Boston, Ascension Health remains committed to strengthening Catholic healthcare. While these discussions have not resulted in a change of sponsorship of Caritas Christi, we have offered to provide any other assistance we can to the Archdiocese and Caritas Christi Health Care."

About Caritas Christ Health Care

Established in 1985, Caritas Christi Health Care, the second largest healthcare system in New England, is a comprehensive, integrated healthcare delivery network providing community-based medicine and tertiary care in eastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Included in the system's six-hospital network are Caritas St. Elizabeth's Medical Center of Boston, Caritas Carney Hospital, Dorchester; Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center, Brockton; Caritas Holy Family Hospital and Medical Center, Methuen; Caritas Norwood Hospital, Norwood; and Saint Anne's Hospital, Fall River.

About the Archdiocese of Boston

The Archdiocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of approximately 2 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 295 parishes, across 144 communities, educating nearly 50,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156, 000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of more than one million patients annually in its hospitals and 200,000 individuals through its social service outreach. Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit www.rcab.org.

About Ascension Health

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Ascension Health is a Catholic healthcare system formed in 1999, when four provinces of the Daughters of Charity (Northeast, Southwest, East Central and West Central) and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth came together to create the system as a sponsorship organization to continue the work of their ministry, which began more than 400 years ago. In 2002 the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet joined as the sixth sponsor.

Ascension Health (www.ascensionhealth.org) is transforming healthcare by providing the highest quality care to all, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Ascension Health, which provided $703.9 million in care of persons who are poor and community benefit last year, is the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health system. Ascension Health's Mission-focused Health Ministries consist of 101,000 associates serving in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

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Dr. Chessare communication to Caritas Christi community,

Dear Caritas Christi Colleagues:

Over the past few years, Caritas Christi has made a remarkable turnaround, fueled in large part by your cooperation, dedication and steadfast focus on our number one priority, providing exceptional health care to the more than one million patients and their families around New England who count on our 12,000 employees every day. Our tremendous progress continues today, as in the coming months, we look to close out our third consecutive year of profitable operations. Caritas Christi's strategic plan for the future is succeeding.

In an effort to accelerate this growth, Caritas decided at the beginning of this year to explore potential relationships with other leading health care systems around the country that shared our strong commitment to Catholic health care. As such, in February, Caritas entered into good faith discussions with Ascension Health in hopes of changing our sponsorship with a goal of leveraging each other's strengths to increase our progress. Unfortunately, after months of good faith efforts, we have mutually agreed not to pursue an affiliation.

Nevertheless we remain extremely optimistic about the future for Caritas. We continue the work of transformation in clinical care and service to our patients. To help us continue our journey toward becoming an exceptional integrated delivery system, the Archdiocese of Boston and our board of governors are immediately launching an aggressive search for a permanent chief executive officer.

The Archdiocese is unwavering in its commitment to ensure that Catholic health care will have a strong future in New England. As such, both the Archdiocese and Caritas will remain open to exploring appropriate and mutually agreeable affiliations. And the strength of Caritas Christi Health Care makes it an attractive partner to many other health care organizations that share our commitment to Christ's health ministry.

I will keep you updated as our search for a new chief executive progresses rapidly over the coming months. And I thank you in advance for your continued commitment to our quest for exceptional care.

Sincerely,

John B. Chessare, MD, MPH

Interim President and Chief Executive Officer

Caritas Christi Heath Care