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Health Care

Changes have been fast and furious in recent years on the sprawling campus of Hoffman Estates’ St. Alexius Medical Center.

For instance, the $125 million Alexian Brothers Women’s & Children’s Hospital opened in 2013 and it now provides convenient access to a broad continuum of advanced, sub-specialized pediatric care like pediatric neurosurgery and pediatric surgical oncology that families in Chicago’s northwest suburbs previously could receive only by traveling much longer distances.

That addition to the campus made a big splash and was accompanied by lots of fanfare because it would affect so many lives.

The latest change that has occurred, however – the name change to AMITA Health – may have been heralded in advertisements, but patients and members of the community will observe little in the way of changes in anything but signage, said Julie Busch, assistant vice president of communications.

“Our joint operating agreement with Adventist Midwest Health and the branding of our joint company as AMITA Health will bring our services to a larger population. But for our patients and communities, it will largely be seen as ‘business as usual’,” she said.

“This is our response to the changes happening nationally in health care. You have to collaborate today to survive. This is a way for us to create efficiencies, coordinate care and share resources that deepen our sub-specialization capabilities,” Busch said.

However, the AMITA Health partnership is unique among Chicago health care providers and totally unlike the many mergers and acquisitions that have been going on around them. Under their joint operating agreement, the two owners remain separate and true to their different religious backgrounds. Each health system also keeps its assets. But they operate } cooperatively in order to increase their footprint in the area and offer a better value to their patients, Busch said.

The resulting company is the third-largest health system in Illinois, encompassing nine hospitals and an extensive provider network of more than 3,000 physicians serving the west and northwest suburbs of Chicago. Nevertheless, Adventist Midwest Health remains a part of Adventist Health System of Altamonte Springs, FL and Alexian Brothers Health System remains a part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the country and the largest Catholic health system in the world.

The new name for the joint company reflects “our promise to deliver the most efficient, high-quality, faith-based care,” said Mark A. Frey, president and chief executive office of AMITA Health, when the agreement was announced.

In fact, the name AMITA was inspired by the word’s meaning in several languages: friendship in Italian, honesty and truth in Hebrew and spiritual light and boundlessness in Hindi, reflecting the organization’s core values of friendship, truth and mutual respect for all, as well as its faith-based call to healing.

The Hoffman Estates medical campus includes three facilities: AMITA Health, St. Alexius Medical Center, Hoffman Estates; AMITA Health, Alexian Brothers Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Hoffman Estates; and AMITA Health, Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, Hoffman Estates.

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