Bon Secours Mercy Health and LifeBridge Health today completed LifeBridge Health’s acquisition of Bon Secours Baltimore Hospital.
“At LifeBridge Health, we want to ensure that the people of West Baltimore have the healthcare services they need now and in the future. As we bring additional medical specialties, enhanced services and renovations to the hospital, we look forward to working with Bon Secours Community Works and other partners, including members of the community, on our shared vision to see a growing and thriving West Baltimore,” said LifeBridge Health President and CEO Neil Meltzer.
On Nov. 1, all eligible Bon Secours Baltimore Hospital employees became LifeBridge Health employees, and leadership of the West Baltimore hospital transitioned to LifeBridge Health. As Chief Community Health Officer for Bon Secours Mercy Health, Sam Ross, M.D., continues his leadership of community health programs across the ministry of Bon Secours Mercy Health.
Bon Secours has worked for years to create sustainable solutions for healthcare for the West Baltimore community; this acquisition is a continuation of discussions and approaches that have taken place for the past decade among health providers as well as local and state officials.
The financial proceeds of the acquisition will be paid over six years to Bon Secours Baltimore Foundation and will be used exclusively for the establishment, continuation or expansion of community-based programming at Bon Secours Community Works and Unity Properties. They will address social determinants of health.
“Bon Secours and LifeBridge Health are committed to transformational work to improve the health and wholeness of West Baltimore,” said Dr. Ross. “Together, we will focus on better access to quality healthcare services, wellness and prevention and addressing the root causes of health disparities.”
LOCAL AND STATE SUPPORT
The acquisition of the hospital has the support of Governor Larry Hogan, the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) and Baltimore Mayor Jack Young.
“Our administration is committed to providing quality health care to our citizens, and after months of planning and collaboration with local community members, elected officials, and state regulators, we are proud to congratulate the successful transition of Bon Secours Baltimore Hospital to LifeBridge Health,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This transition will bring enhanced health services and additional medical specialties to West Baltimore, and I want to commend all those involved for their commitment to finding effective and creative health care solutions for our communities.”
“I’m thrilled to welcome LifeBridge Health to the West Baltimore community where they will provide high-quality healthcare to our residents,” said Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “Bon Secours and LifeBridge Health have been vital partners and anchor institutions in Baltimore City, and I’m looking forward to working closely with them to improve health outcomes and quality of life for our residents in West Baltimore.”
“The transition of Bon Secours Baltimore Hospital to LifeBridge Health has the opportunity to improve the quality of life in West Baltimore by transforming the healthcare delivery system, modernizing healthcare facilities, and committing resources aimed at increasing access to needed medical services and addressing social determinants of health,” said Nelson Sabatini, chairman of the Maryland HSCRC.
Bon Secours and LifeBridge Health have been working together to ensure a smooth, stable transition with no disruption of healthcare services.
LifeBridge Health’s preliminary plans for the hospital include enhanced emergency services, on-site clinical and primary care, expanded specialty services (including pediatrics, ENT, ophthalmology and 3D mammography) as well as a small medical/surgical unit.
To accommodate construction and the addition of new services, some services will relocate to other LifeBridge Health facilities. LifeBridge Health has been working with Bon Secours Hospital team members on transition preparations, including communicating with employees who are transferring to other LifeBridge Health hospitals, specifically Sinai and Northwest hospitals.
While LifeBridge Health has some initial ideas for the facility, including what services may be added, these plans may be modified as the health system takes over hospital operations and assesses what additional services will best serve the healthcare needs of the community.
LifeBridge Health looks to complete renovations and new construction by the end of 2022.
CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITIES TOGETHER
Following the hospital transition, both health systems plan to continue to work together on community-focused programs.
LifeBridge Health has committed to investing in the West Baltimore community, working to complement the initiatives of Bon Secours Community Works and other programs already in place or in the planning stages.
In coordination with Bon Secours Community Works, LifeBridge Health has taken a “listen first” approach, meeting with residents and local organizations, getting to know them and listening to their concerns and interests.
Dr. Ross says, “With the combined expertise and resources of Bon Secours Community Works and LifeBridge Health, along with our community members, we think we have a unique opportunity to create something that is both transformational and sustainable.”
Bon Secours Community Works and Unity Properties programs focus on affordable housing, community rebuilding, GED training, women’s resources, job training, family support services, recidivism assistance, early childhood education and nutrition counseling. This continues the century-old legacy of the Sisters of Bon Secours, who worked in the community for 37 years before building the Baltimore hospital in 1919.
NOVEMBER 9 – DEDICATION AND COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
LifeBridge Health plans a dedication ceremony on Saturday, November 9 at noon outside the hospital at the corner of Baltimore and Pulaski streets. The event will be followed by a community celebration featuring music, health screenings, kids’ activities, food, and more. Additional details can be found at westbaltimorehealth.org