Ardent Health Services and Ascension Sacred Heart Sign Letter of Intent For Ascension To Acquire 323-Bed Bay Medical

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (November 27, 2018) – Ardent Health Services and Ascension Sacred Heart Health System announced today they have signed a letter of intent for Ardent to sell its interest in 323-bed Bay Medical Sacred Heart (Bay Medical) to Ascension, including physician clinic operations in Panama City and Bay County, Florida. Bay Medical is a joint venture of Ardent and Ascension Sacred Heart, which is part of Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit health system.

In Florida, Ascension includes three Sacred Heart Health System hospitals – in Pensacola, Miramar Beach and Port St. Joe – and St. Vincent’s HealthCare in Jacksonville.

Following damage from Hurricane Michael, Bay Medical is rebuilding in order to restore inpatient services in stages. Emergency services have been in continuous operation.

Ardent Americas Division President Matt Maxfield described the strength of Ardent’s joint venture partner Ascension, stating, “Ascension has demonstrated the power and value of our partnership throughout this post-hurricane period, especially with their ability to accept 230-plus patients who needed to be evacuated in the 48 hours following the hurricane.”

Patients were transferred by air and ground ambulance from Bay Medical to Ascension hospitals in Miramar Beach, Pensacola and Jacksonville. Ascension has continued to accept the facility’s acutely ill emergency room patients who require hospitalization.

“The caregivers and physicians of Ascension Sacred Heart put forth tremendous effort to help the region, working closely with our colleagues at Bay Medical and our partners at Ardent, during and after Hurricane Michael,” said Tom VanOsdol, Senior Vice President, Ascension Healthcare, and Ministry Market Executive, Ascension Florida. “Going forward, we believe that Bay Medical will be best positioned to meet the evolving needs of the community as a full member of our Ascension Sacred Heart ministry. We look forward to the privilege of bringing the full strength, resources and clinical excellence of Ascension to bear in service to the families and individuals we are so blessed to serve in Panama City and Bay County.”

“We have engaged in a planning process with Ascension to determine the best possible path forward for Bay Medical. It became evident that becoming a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of Ascension Sacred Heart Health System will allow appropriate matching of services to the needs of the post-hurricane community. Additionally, it affords regionalization of certain services such as trauma and heart care,” Maxfield said.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

About Ardent Health Services

Ardent Health Services invests in people, technology, facilities and communities, producing high-quality care and extraordinary results. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Ardent’s subsidiaries own and operate 31 hospitals in seven states with more than 25,000 employees including 1,150 employed providers. Ardent facilities exceed national averages in Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating as ranked by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; 92 percent of its hospitals received a three-star rating or above in comparison with 73 percent of all hospitals ranked. Five of the company's hospitals were recognized by Modern Healthcare as "Best Places to Work" in 2018 - the eleventh consecutive year an Ardent facility made this list.

Ardent operations are owned by an affiliate of Equity Group Investments (EGI), a Chicago-based private investment firm; Ventas, Inc., a leading real estate investment trust; and members of Ardent's executive management team. For more information, visit

About Ascension

Ascension ( is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2018, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 156,000 associates and 34,000 aligned providers. Ascension’s Healthcare Division operates more than 2,600 sites of care – including 151 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 21 states and the District of Columbia, while its Solutions Division provides a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.


Will Condon
Ascension Sacred Heart

Tyra Palmer
Ardent Health Services

Ardent Health Services

Ardent Health Services is a leading provider of healthcare in communities across the country. With a focus on consumer-friendly processes and investments in innovative services and technologies, Ardent is passionate about making healthcare better and easier to access.

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