Carondelet Health Network today announced to its 4,900 associates and 1,200 physician partners plans to restructure select programs and services in 2012. Carondelet, which originated in Tucson in 1880, has become the largest Catholic, not-for-profit healthcare system in Southern Arizona -- with four hospitals, an ambulatory surgery center, 20-plus primary and specialty care medical offices, a wide array of outpatient services, a robust rural telemedicine program, home health care offerings, hospice and palliative care, community health, wellness and education initiatives and a partnership in Mercy Care, a local health coverage plan.

Plans announced today focus on three areas: developing operational efficiencies, restructuring and consolidating select services and programs, and planning for growth and expansion.

“These are all necessary steps in strengthening and positioning our Ministry for the future,” says Jim Beckmann, Carondelet Health Network President and Chief Executive Officer. “Similar to the work being done in healthcare systems and private businesses throughout our state and nation, Carondelet has been working diligently to place our Network on a path to sustainable growth and renewal in the face of economically challenging times.”

Over the last year, Carondelet associates, physician partners, administrators and Network leaders have worked aggressively to increase productivity and operational efficiencies, enhance the quality of care in each facility, and continue to build on the unique strengths and services offered through the healthcare network. “One of our greatest strengths is our capacity as a Ministry to meet the healthcare needs of Southern Arizonans with compassionate and high quality care,” adds Beckmann. “One of our greatest opportunities is to better position ourselves to provide that care in the most cost effective ways.”

This means some programs currently offered in multiple locations will be restructured and offered in one location. For example, inpatient behavioral health is currently housed in three locations across the Network: at Holy Family Center, St. Mary’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital. Beginning early next year, Carondelet’s inpatient behavioral health services will be consolidated to one location at O’Reilly Care Center on St. Joseph’s campus. Services such as psychiatric assessments and consultations, emergency department behavioral health services and the complexity intervention units will still be available across the Network. Similar consolidations of services are occurring in the Network’s outpatient rehab programs.

“We have carefully evaluated our shared services, service lines, and program offerings throughout our Ministry and are positioning ourselves for sustainable, mission-driven performance in the current and future economic environment,” adds Odette Bolano, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
 
One of the most difficult aspects of Carondelet’s effort is that it will require a reduction in workforce of approximately 225 people between now and March 2012. “We will work diligently to transition these associates with dignity and respect and launch aggressive placement efforts both internally and externally,” adds Daisy Jenkins, Carondelet’s Chief Human Resources and Administrative Officer. “We will partner with Pima County One Stop for outplacement and career counseling services.”

Carondelet’s plans also include growth initiatives to enhance the Network’s emphasis on patient-centered care. These include expanding strategic service lines and ambulatory care services, strengthening community health, education and wellness efforts, and continuing to develop strategic partnerships across Southern Arizona.
 
“For 131 years, Carondelet has demonstrated its commitment to this community and to the mission and values of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet,” states Beckmann. “Throughout the past century, the Sisters have never shied away from making tough decisions required to maintain the viability and vitality of this Ministry. The decisions we make now are meant to both protect this legacy and enhance our mission for years to come.”

About Carondelet Health Network
Located in Tucson, Arizona, Carondelet Health Network is a Catholic, non- for-profit healthcare system dedicated to responding to the health, prevention, education, and wellness needs of Southern Arizonans. Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 131 years ago. Carondelet’s Tucson facilities include St. Mary's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute and Carondelet Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and in Nogales, Arizona, Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital. Carondelet family of services also include nearly 20 primary and specialty care offices, an ambulatory surgery center, several imaging centers, Hospice and Palliative Care, and a variety of other outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, non-profit healthcare system. In Fiscal Year 2010, Carondelet provided nearly $50 million (8.3 percent of its net revenue) in Community Benefit to improve the health of our community and increase access to healthcare. More information about Carondelet Health Network is available at www.carondelet.org.