Ministry Health acquires Fox Valley heath care system - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Ministry Health acquires Fox Valley heath care system

WAUSAU (WAOW) --  After months of deliberation, Ministry Health has now assumed full ownership of Affinity Health System.

The merger came after another health care system, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, gave up its ownership, and said goodbye to a fifteen year partnership.

Affinity Health System is located in Fox Valley, with hospitals in Appleton, Oshkosh, and Chilton. Not to mention 26 clinics across the state. Officials on both sides say the merger is due to changing healthcare reforms and federal budget cuts.

"This will strengthen Ministry at all of its sites. We will be bigger, spread over more area and better serve the communities," Nick Desien, president and CEO of Ministry Health Care said. "Sole sponsorship brings additional assets to Ministry's delivery system which will create cost-saving opportunities."

Desien goes on to say that the merger will not mean any jobs lost. In fact, he says, it has the potential to create jobs as time goes on.

Heath care officials say the change in ownership will not effect patient care. And patients visiting every location will still have the same value of care.

"Our patients should expect a continuation of personalized care from our physicians and care teams in the same close-to-home clinics and hospitals they currently visit," Daniel Neufelder, president and CEO of Affinity Health System said in a press release.

Affinity has more than 4,000 employees, and a medical group with 300 providers. With the new ownership, Neufelder says benefits will be provided to all of its employees and the thousands of insurance members.

"It's two of the top rated health care systems in the USA. Bringing the two together will mean the best possible health care for the state of Wisconsin," Neufelder said.

Currently Affinity and Ministry Health Care are rated in the top 20 health care systems in the United States.

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