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Summa Health System to Create Strategic Partnership with Cincinnati-Based Catholic Health Partners

Date: 02.21.2013
Contact: Mike Bernstein Phone: (330) 375-7930

AKRON, Ohio, Feb. 21, 2013 – The Summa Health System Board of Directors has approved a Letter of Intent with Cincinnati-based Catholic Health Partners (CHP) to create a strategic partnership, pending final negotiations. The decision comes following Summa’s announcement in July that it would seek a like-minded, larger non-profit partner to enhance its strategic initiatives and strengthen its financial position in exchange for a minority interest in the organization in which Summa retains majority ownership and local control.

“We have had the unique opportunity to get to know several leading national healthcare organizations throughout this process,” said Norman Wells, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Summa Health System. “Our experience with each has been extremely positive, and we have learned a great deal about what makes them successful. When looking specifically at what is most important to us, I am confident that Catholic Health Partners is the right group to join us on our journey to transform the delivery of healthcare.”  

The decision to seek a potential partner is part of Summa’s three-year strategic planning process, which includes multiple initiatives to prepare the organization for a new era of healthcare. In addition, as Summa continues implementation of its Performance Improvement initiative to become more efficient throughout the organization, there are clear synergies with CHP around the areas of care redesign, revenue cycle, supply chain and enhanced productivity that will help us realize more efficiencies and value for our community.

Several strategic population health initiatives also are underway separately around which Summa and CHP share a common vision:

  • Both organizations have ACOs that currently are participating in the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Program.
  • Both organizations have implemented a Patient Centered Medical Home strategy that has resulted in several practices being certified as NCQA Level 3 medical homes.
  • Both organizations have prepared for the transition to value-based payments through participation in initiatives such as the CMMI Bundled Payment pilot and the CMS Partnership for Patients.

Summa and CHP already have begun a productive relationship, successfully working together to expand the SummaCare Medicare Advantage product to new markets in 2012 for the 2013 coverage period. Summa, CHP and other partners in Ohio are working to advance healthcare in the state.

“When we began this process, we were very clear that we would only enter into an agreement with a non-profit organization that shared our mission, vision and values,” said Tom Strauss, Summa Health System President and CEO. “While there still is a great deal of work to be done during the next several months to finalize a partnership, I believe that CHP shares our view that the way healthcare is delivered in our nation must change. At Summa, we are well positioned for future success, but together with CHP, I believe that we can truly be transformational.”

Summa’s search to find a potential partner was led by the Summa Board of Directors, who appointed a special committee comprised of members of the Board, system leadership and the medical staff to provide input into the process. The search included approximately ten large non-profit healthcare organizations headquartered both inside and outside of the State of Ohio.

Negotiations are scheduled for completion within mid-year. Additional updates will be provided as they become available.

About Summa Health System

Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook at and Twitter at