JACKSON – St. Dominic Health Services (St. Dominic’s) announced Friday, Sept. 28, that it has entered into exclusive discussions with the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Sisters to assume sponsorship of St. Dominic’s.
The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Sisters sponsor the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, a nonprofit, mission-focused Catholic healthcare ministry based in Louisiana. The System is comprised of a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing, integrated information systems, and an integrated clinical network.
For more than 70 years, the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois, have sponsored St. Dominic’s, helping guide the organization as it provides healthcare services that bless the lives of Mississippi residents both physically and spiritually.
After deep discernment, the Dominican Sisters of Springfield decided that in order to secure the future of St. Dominic’s it was necessary to seek a transfer of sponsorship.
“We want St. Dominic’s to continue to serve Mississippi for generations yet to come, but our diminishing numbers cannot sustain our role as its sponsor,” said Sister Dorothea Sondgeroth, O.P., associate executive director, St. Dominic Health Services Foundation. “It has been a difficult decision, yet it’s the right one for our organization and for our community because it will help St. Dominic’s secure its future.”
After thoughtful deliberation, St. Dominic’s entered into exclusive discussions with the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Sisters to assume sponsorship of the organization.
“We are grateful to the Dominican Sisters of Springfield for their commitment to the health of our community and our state,” said Claude W. Harbarger, president, St. Dominic Health Services. “We are also grateful for their leadership in championing our next chapter, ensuring the long-term sustainability of our organization.”
“We look forward to St. Dominic’s joining our ministry under the sponsorship of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. We have known and respected St. Dominic’s for many years. They are well recognized for their emphasis on quality and community benefit,” said Mike McBride, chief executive officer of the Franciscan Missionaries of our Lady Health System. “As a Catholic healthcare ministry, this is an important way we can extend our healing mission. Through a change in sponsorship, the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System will continue the legacy of the Dominican Sisters’ ministry and grow Catholic healthcare in Mississippi.”
Bishop Joseph Kopacz wrote an email to pastoral leaders througout the diocese to notify them of the change in which he noted that the two organizations are already familiar with one another. “Based on the due diligence completed to date, as well as St. Dominic’s long friendship with Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, the Sisters and St. Dominic’s believe the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Sisters share St. Dominic’s values. This change in sponsorship would offer the resources needed to ensure the Dominican Sisters’ legacy and the St. Dominic’s mission will continue for generations to come,” wrote the bishop.
Upon completion of an agreement, expected in early 2019, St. Dominic’s will become part of the Franciscan Missionaries or Our Lady Health System, which currently consists of five hospitals, 1,747 licensed beds, and nearly 2,000 medical staff across Louisiana.
The hospital developed a companion website, www.ContinuingOurMission.com, to help answer questions about the talks and what may be next for the facility, employees and the community.
Joining a larger Catholic, not-for-profit health system will provide St. Dominic’s the added resources and backing necessary to continue strengthening the high-quality, personalized care that has made it one of the most trusted healthcare providers in the state of Mississippi.
St. Dominic’s is more than just a hospital. It is a family of services focused on fulfilling a mission of Christian healing to those in need. St. Dominic Health Services, Inc. is the parent company for a large group of subsidiary organizations and programs dedicated to the same mission. These include St. Dominic Hospital, the Community Health Services Clinic, St. Dominic Medical Associates (physician network), New Directions for Over 55, MEA Clinics, The Club at St. Dominic’s, the School Nurse Program, St. Dominic’s Foundation, St. Catherine’s Village and Care-A-Van.