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Mayo Merger: Methodist and St. Marys to Combine

Posted at: 03/25/2013 10:45 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- Saint Marys and Methodist Hospital’s in Rochester, the two largest in our area, are about to become one under the Mayo Clinic Hospital name.

Those working there, no need to worry. It'll be the same employees, same services, even the same building. So why change something that’s been this way for 130 years? Mayo's CEO says it's to make things less confusing.

They've been a partnership for years, but Monday's announcement marked the next big step. "We knew it was going to happen we just didn’t know when," said Sister Marilyn Geiger. Mayo Clinic made an agreement with the Sisters of Saint Francis to operate under the same license, meaning the Catholic identity would change.

"They (the sisters) are sad, really sad, but know the unknown that lies ahead is going to be something that's good for the people," said Sister Marilyn.

"We do this with great respect for this important part of our heritage over the last 130 years," said Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy. Both parties agree when it came to patient care, the decision was easy.

"Now we realize in this complex era of heath care that we can better practice medicine under a single license," said Dr. Noseworthy.

The main reason is to bring their scope of services closer together, but also to ensure accurate reporting of data. "As in, how's Mayo doing. When it's split with separate recording, as it’s required with separate licenses, that creates all sorts of confusion," said Dr. Noseworthy.
    
For example, reporting their quality of care. One hospital may specialize in something more so than the other, but when they're looked at separately, numbers reflect poorly at the other location.
    
"We will prevent any misunderstanding or confusion on behalf of our patients, and the regulatory environment by more clearly demonstrating the quality of our product,” said Dr. Noseworthy.

The sisters say they're embracing the change. "The sisters have been marvelous. I think our partnership is stronger than ever," said Dr. Noseworthy.

Though the identity will change, the Catholic chapel will stay the same, mass will be there daily, and all the services will continue.

No change will be made until next year.