St. Joseph Health and Hoag Hospital Presbyterian, two of Orange County’s oldest and most respected medical systems, have agreed to a groundbreaking partnership that could ultimately create one of the largest healthcare networks in the region.
St. Joseph Hospital
If approved later this year by the state Attorney General’s Office, the two entities will immediately begin work on the formation of a new company to deliver healthcare services, wellness programs and medical information and resources to consumers across Orange County. This new affiliation could result in a network of six local hospitals, outpatient clinics and virtual services providing up to one-third of the total healthcare in the county, a reality that officials say should provide more medical options at a lower cost.
“This is a historic day for medical care in Orange County,” said Dr. Richard Afable, Hoag president and CEO. “We share more than a century of collective experience. Our goal in forming this affiliation is transformational.”
In addressing the structure of the new partnership, Deborah Proctor, president and CEO of St. Joseph Health, said that this is not a “merger, sale or transfer of assets.”
“What’s most important here is what we can do for the community,” Proctor said. “It’s so critical that we do something so people have access and the best quality of care, and we do so at a better cost than we are today.”
St. Joseph Health will continue to operate its four Orange County hospitals (St. Joseph in Orange, St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, and Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach) with its own physicians, nursing and administrative staff, while Hoag will do the same with its two hospitals (in Newport Beach and Irvine), seven health centers and five urgent care centers. The six hospitals account for almost 2,000 beds in the county. St. Joseph Health has a fifth hospital in the high desert community of Apple Valley that will also be part of this new venture.