East Texas Medical Center, Ardent and the University of Texas System Are Coming Together to Further Health in East Texas




Ardent Health Services will operate this newly formed 10-hospital health system,
providing capital and resources to grow services


TYLER, Texas and NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 13, 2017) – East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System (ETMC) has selected Ardent Health Services (Ardent) and The University of Texas System (UT System), which includes The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Health Northeast), to form a new health system to benefit East Texas, officials announced today. Ardent will assume majority ownership and day-to-day operations of the new system. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.   

Based in Tyler, Texas, ETMC includes 502-bed East Texas Medical Center Tyler and a network of nine hospitals and 39 clinics, including regional hospitals located in Athens, Carthage, Henderson, Jacksonville, Pittsburg and Quitman. Additionally, in Tyler, two other inpatient facilities, the ETMC Rehabilitation Hospital and the ETMC Specialty Hospital, are included in the new health system. Other assets include the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, physician clinics, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, a behavioral health center and a comprehensive 7-trauma center care network, including a Level 1.  

In February 2017, ETMC leadership began the search for a strategic partner to assist the organization in continuing its mission of improving the health and quality of life for East Texans.

“After a deliberate and thoughtful process, our Board of Directors is pleased to select Ardent Health Services and the University of Texas System as the right partners for ETMC to take up our mission of care,” said Elmer G. Ellis, president and CEO of ETMC. “This acquisition will allow ETMC to grow and thrive in the East Texas region, with new partners who can best provide the necessary clinical expertise, operational proficiency, employee development and financial resources to deliver the best care possible for our patients.”

The UT System will contribute its Tyler-based UT Health Northeast hospital and 12 physician clinic operations to the new 10-hospital system. The newly created health system will expand medical education, research and community health. It will be an affiliate of the world-renowned University of Texas System, one of the largest academic and health systems in the country.

“We are delighted to partner with UT Health Northeast and the dedicated physicians, nurses and employees of ETMC,” said David T. Vandewater, president and CEO of Ardent Health Services. “At Ardent, we strongly believe in the value of partnerships that bring out the best in each organization. We each share a focus on service and a commitment to providing quality care to the communities we serve. Together, we will continue the great legacy of ETMC.” The partnership will invest $150 million for improvements over five years and provide other resources to support the operation of this newly created health system. 

Governance will be shared through a newly formed board of directors, which will include local physicians. Proceeds from the transaction will be used to create a local foundation to further the health and wellness of East Texans. The transaction is expected to close following the completion of due diligence and required regulatory approvals.

“Once approved by the UT System Board of Regents, this combination will bring unique synergies to the East Texas healthcare landscape,” said Kevin Eltife, former state senator and Tyler mayor, and current member of the UT System Board of Regents. “The great benefit of these three organizations coming together will be that East Texans will enjoy the best of all possible worlds. A great national healthcare system will be integrated with a regional powerhouse in healthcare delivery and a leader in health education and research.”

“We are honored to be a part of this new regional health system,” said Kirk Calhoun, MD, president of UT Health Northeast. “Our focus at UT System and UT Health Northeast will be on expanding educational opportunities, including training more physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals for our region and beyond. We also believe that the new partnership will foster research that can improve patient outcomes and promote community health in East Texas.”

Ardent currently operates 20 hospitals in six states, including 445-bed BSA Hospital in Amarillo, Texas, and 83-bed Seton Medical Center Harker Heights in Harker Heights, Texas. The partnership marks Ardent’s eighth joint venture with a leading not-for-profit health system and its second this year. Ardent maintains joint ventures with institutions such as Seton Healthcare, Hackensack Meridian Health Network and Sacred Heart Health System. In May, the company announced plans to partner with The University of Kansas Health System to purchase St. Francis Health in Topeka, Kansas.


About ETMC

The East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System is a network of nine hospitals and 39 clinics, caring for more than 300,000 East Texans a year. ETMC is committed to the highest standards of care by offering advanced technology and resources in local communities to improve quality of life throughout East Texas.

Established in 1949, the ETMC Regional Healthcare System includes hospitals in Athens, Carthage, Henderson, Jacksonville, Pittsburg and Quitman and three inpatient facilities in Tyler – ETMC Tyler, the ETMC Rehabilitation Hospital and the ETMC Specialty Hospital. The flagship and regional referral facility, ETMC Tyler, is licensed for 502 beds and is home to the region's only Level I trauma center.

Other divisions within ETMC include a large ambulance service, three Air 1 emergency helicopters, ETMC Home Health and the region’s premier psychiatric facility, ETMC Behavioral Health. ETMC offers centers of excellence in a variety of key medical services, including cancer care, cardiovascular medicine, emergency medicine, neuroscience and orthopedics. ETMC also provides the region’s only transplantation service. For more information, visit etmc.org.


About the UT System & UT Health Northeast

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System comprises eight academic institutions and six health institutions, including six medical schools – four at health institutions and two at academic campuses. Within the health institutions there are also two dental schools, three nursing schools, five biomedical science graduate schools, four schools of health professions, one school of biomedical informatics, and two schools of public health, including one with five regional campuses. System-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics have more than 7.9 million outpatient visits and nearly 1.6 million hospital days annually, and UT System ranks second in the nation in research and development expenditures among public university systems with $2.8 billion. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2018 is $18.3 billion, including $3.6 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. The UT System’s health care operating budget is almost $12 billion.  With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

For more than 70 years, UT Health Northeast has provided excellent patient care to the citizens of northeast Texas and beyond. With over 35 medical specialties and nearly 200,000 outpatient visits annually, signature programs include cancer, chest diseases, primary care, behavioral health, and public and community health.  As the only university medical center in the region, UT Health Northeast leads the way in graduate medical education – with residencies in family medicine, rural family medicine, occupational medicine, psychiatry, and internal medicine – and in graduate education, with degrees in biotechnology and public health.  Additionally, UT Health Northeast’s Center for Biomedical Research consistently ranks in the top percentile for grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and other research funding organizations. UT Health Northeast’s annual operating budget of over $200 million represents a major economic engine for the region. For more information, visit www.uthealth.org.


About Ardent Health Services

Ardent Health Services invests in people, technology, facilities and communities, producing high-quality care and extraordinary results. Based in Nashville, Tenn., Ardent’s subsidiaries own and operate 20 hospitals in six states with 18,000 employees including 500 employed physicians. Ardent facilities exceed national averages in Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating as ranked by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; 87 percent of its hospitals received a three-star rating or above in comparison with 78 percent of all hospitals ranked. Seven of the company's hospitals were recognized by Modern Healthcare as "Best Places to Work" in 2017 – more than any other system in the country.

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 www.ardenthealth.com.



Rebecca Berkley                     Tyra Palmer                                          John Moore

ETMC                                      Ardent Health Services                       UT Health Northeast

(903) 504-9234                      (615) 296-3146                                   (903) 877-7079

rberkley@etmc.org                tpalmer@ardenthealth.com               john.moore@uthct.edu


Ardent Health Services

Ardent Health Services invests in quality health care. In people, technology, facilities and communities, Ardent makes considerable investments – producing high quality care and extraordinary results.

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