Proposed Joint Venture Interested in Ownership of St. Francis Health

Media Contacts:
SCL Health
Christine Duffy

St. Francis Health
Nikki Sloup

The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent Health Partners chosen to move forward

Broomfield, COLO. (May 4, 2017) – SCL Health announces today that it will pursue a proposal submitted by The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas and Ardent Health Services in Nashville, Tennessee to assume ownership of St. Francis Health. The two parties indicated they are forming a co-owned, joint venture company to oversee the operations and management of the Topeka, Kansas-based hospital and its physician practices.

SCL Health, The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent will now work toward finalizing a Definitive Agreement. SCL Health selected the proposal from The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent after evaluating Letters of Intent (LOI) from multiple organizations and determining the joint venture proposal best met established criteria and could be finalized swiftly. This will pave the way for a smooth transition for St. Francis Health’s patients and associates.

“We are grateful to have a path forward to secure St. Francis’ future and we are optimistic that we will reach a final agreement,” said SCL Health President and CEO Michael Slubowski. “Both The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent have reputations for delivering quality healthcare services and also have the assets and experience needed to support St. Francis and its physicians so they can continue to provide compassionate, quality care to their communities.”

St. Francis Health Board Chair Greg Schwerdt said, “We are greatly encouraged by this selection, and believe these partners possess exactly what is needed to enable St. Francis to continue to meet the healthcare needs of this community, as it has done so well since 1909.”

“I would like to personally commend and thank Governor Brownback for his involvement, which raised awareness of the need for a new operator and helped make today’s announcement possible,” Slubowski said.

St. Francis Health President David Setchel expressed gratitude, saying “I am thankful for the outpouring of support from the Topeka community and the great work of our associates, whose compassion and care for patients never wavered. We are looking forward to working together with The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent, and agree with SCL Health that they are the preferred partners to support St. Francis’ mission to provide vital healthcare services in Topeka and beyond.”

Terms of the proposal remain confidential as the parties enter discussions to finalize an agreement. The agreement will be subject to customary regulatory approvals.



SCL Health is a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health of the people and communities we serve, especially the poor and vulnerable. Our $2.5 billion health network aspires to provide comprehensive, coordinated care through our 12 hospitals, 210 physician clinics, home health care, hospice, mental health care, and safety-net services in three states – Colorado, Kansas and Montana. We proudly partner with other organizations to improve quality and the patient experience. SCL Health provides more than $257 million a year in community benefit. SCL Health was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, who opened their first hospital in 1864. To learn more, visit


St. Francis Health, located in Topeka, Kansas, is a nonprofit Catholic health care network in the SCL Health System. Since 1909, our multispecialty care community has worked together to pioneer inspired, innovative care in our mission to improve not only the health of those we serve, but to improve their lives. From our 378-bed medical center in Topeka to more than 20 clinics throughout the region, St. Francis Health employs more than 70 primary and specialty care providers, all focused on delivering the region’s most advanced technology and compassionate care. For more information, visit us at

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