GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
On the year of Saint Mary’s 125th birthday, big news comes to Grand Junction’s biggest building and largest employer. SCL Health is combining forces with Intermountain Healthcare to better serve the needs of more communities. President and CEO for SCL Health, Lydia Jumonville says, “This merger will really enable us to create a healthcare organization that is poised to meet the challenges and changing needs of the healthcare landscape.”
CEO’s for organizations say the merger is different because it is coming from a position of strength clinically, operationally, and financially instead of necessity. The two non-profits say the bottom line isn’t the expected $14 billion in annual revenue, but providing a higher quality of healthcare to more patients. “We really want to keep care close to home whenever possible. Especially, for rural, underserved, and vulnerable populations,” said Jumonville.
The merger will employ more than 58,000 caregivers, operate 33 hospitals, and run 385 clinics across 6 states, according to a news release. But, when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine requirements for health care workers, that’s when things get tricky. “SCL Health is requiring the vaccine of its workers really in accordance with our state law,” said Jumonville. But, this isn’t the case at Intermountain Healthcare. President and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, Marc Harrison M.D. says, “At Intermountain we have not mandated the vaccine. We’re north of 80% vaccinated, and climbing everyday. I will be quite frank. I believe the public health emergency is around the hundreds of thousands of millions of people in the community who are in our communities who are not vaccinated. That’s the crisis.”
Harrison says the headquarters of the new organization will be in Salt Lake City, Utah while the SCL Health regional office will stay in Broomfield, Colorado. The merged organization will serve the six states of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and Kansas.
The merger is expected to be completed early next year (2022) with an estimated two year integration period.
Jumonville says SCL Health will transition to the Intermountain brand, but catholic hospitals will keep their names and existing practices.