Officials do not anticipate any
initial changes in staffing levels or additional capital to finance the
new company. There are no plans for any new buildings or significant
infrastructure changes. Instead, the two entities will leverage assets
and staff already employed within the organizations. In time, some
functions and services such as administration and clerical duties may be
consolidated, Afable said. Hoag and St. Joseph Health will retain their
individual identities and faith affiliations: Presbyterian and
A letter of intent to partner was signed in June.
Because both groups are nonprofits, they must apply for a status change
with the attorney general, which is planned for October and could take
more than 100 days for final approval. Afable does not see any hurdles
in securing approval. The name of the new company and the organizational
structure, staffing and day-to-day operations have not been agreed
upon. It may take up to a year for the new network to be fully
Proctor said she and Afable began talking three
years ago about the lack of a coordinated healthcare network for O.C.
residents, particularly those in lower socioeconomic groups and the
uninsured. However, efforts to rally others to their concerns fell
short, and the two begin talking about joining forces. Those discussions
intensified earlier this year and ended with the agreement to form an
“It was not a hard sell to my board and
leadership,” Proctor said. “St. Joseph and Hoag have much in common. We
share the same values and a similar history of caring for the
vulnerable. We have deep roots, with the two hospitals having served
this community for more than 140 years [combined].”
emphasized that the entities are not merging from a legal standpoint.
However, he acknowledged that this is a “stepping stone” for future
initiatives with each other and other health-related service providers
Afable believes the St. Joseph Health-Hoag partnership can become a model for others in the region, if not nationally.