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St. Alexius, CHI talking 'affiliation'

Bismarck’s Saint Alexius (uh-lex’-ee-us) Medical Center and Catholic Health Initiatives have signed a “letter of intent” to form a new affiliation.

CHI is based in Englewood, Colorado. It has 87 hospitals in 18 states.

CHI and St. A’s officials say the letter is a “non-binding agreement.

"Our organization and CHI have come to the point where we recognize health care is changing," said St. A's CEO and president Gary Miller. "And we have to change with it."

Miller says St. A’s has had a close working relationship with CHI hospitals in Williston and Dickinson.

"For us, this is somewhat of a natural evolution," said Miller. "And we decided it was an appropriate time to enter into a more formal discussion about where our organizations need to go together into the future to promote and expand on Catholic health care delivery in the state of North Dakota."

Miller says the two organizations are at what he called “step one” of the process. He says the negotiations will take about 90 to 120 days – so by June, he expects that process will be finished. Miller says it could bring about savings through “economies of scale.”

"This ia a great time of challenge, and also a great time of opportunity in health care," said Miller. "We recognize that we are going to have to transform how we deliver health care. We recognize we can do that much more effectively by coming together."

Catholic Health Initiatives runs the Carrington Health Center, Lisbon-Area Health Services, Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, Oakes Community Hospital, Mercy Medical Center in Williston and St. Joseph's Hospital and Health Center in Dickinson.

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