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Roper St. Francis to restructure; CEO takes new role

Staff //October 24, 2019//

Roper St. Francis to restructure; CEO takes new role

Staff //October 24, 2019//

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The Medical Society of South Carolina and Bon Secours Mercy Health have plans to restructure their Roper St. Francis Healthcare joint venture after third partner Atrium Health decided to fully divest its 10% share of the company.

LuttonAlong with the restructuring, Roper St. Francis CEO Lorraine Lutton said she has accepted a new position as a market operations executive at Bon Secours Mercy Health, effective Jan. 1. She has worked as CEO of the Roper St. Francis system for three years.

The three companies established the joint venture in 1998. Bon Secours Mercy Health and the Medical Society of South Carolina will jointly own and operate Roper St. Francis Healthcare once the restructuring is final. Bon Secours Mercy Health will hold a 51% stake in the system, according to a news release. The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

John Starcher, president and CEO of Bon Secours Mercy Health, said investing in the Charleston market is a key step toward strengthening the company for the long term.

“We see this as a prime market in which we will continue to make significant capital investments that benefit the health and well-being of greater Charleston-area residents for years to come,” Starcher said.

Medical Society of South Carolina President Henry West said both companies’ long-term vision is aligned, and they will work to ensure a high level of collaboration across their integrated physician network, which will be critical to the long-term success of the health care system.

“Roper St. Francis and the Medical Society of South Carolina are proud members of the Charleston community, and we have an uncompromising commitment to placing our patients and communities at the center of everything we do,” West said. “We want to also thank Atrium Health for the work they have done over the last 21 years as a founding member of this joint venture to improve the health of our community.”

In a letter sent to employees Wednesday, Lutton said she is proud and grateful to have worked with the hospital system’s team.

“Over the last three years as a team, we’ve worked together to help the system gain greater financial stability, exceed our quality goals, strengthen teammate engagement and open the long-awaited Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital, that is already exceeding volume projections,” Lutton said.

According to Lutton, Bon Secours Mercy Health and the Medical Society of South Carolina plan to make significant investments in the market while continuing to work with community partners and donors.

“Together, we also intend to continue to strengthen the system’s brand, focusing on our shared vision for creating the preeminent health care system in the coastal South Carolina region, capable of delivering superior quality and value, achieving economies of scale, and enhancing access to care for a growing population,” she said.

Bon Secours Mercy Health will work with Roper St. Francis Healthcare leaders to conduct a search for a new CEO, Lutton said.

Bon Secours Mercy Health is a Catholic health care system. It can participate in partnerships with non-Catholic organizations because its ownership in Roper St. Francis falls under the holding company HealthSpan. Bon Secours St. Francis will continue to operate as a Catholic facility, and Roper Hospital, Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant and Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital will operate as non-Catholic facilities.