Alexian to join largest Catholic health system - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Alexian to join largest Catholic health system

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) - A suburban Chicago hospital chain with local ties is merging with a group from St. Louis.

Arlington Heights-based Alexian Brothers Health System says it has taken the final steps to merge with St. Louis-based Ascension Health.

Alexian Brothers operates hospitals in Elk Grove Village and Hoffman Estates. Ascension is the nation's largest Catholic health system, with operations in 20 states.

The merger takes effect Jan. 1.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the agreement earlier this month. The final agreement was signed last week. Terms were not disclosed.

The agreement includes Alexian Brothers' two acute care hospitals and two specialty facilities in Chicago, plus senior care facilities in St. Louis, Milwaukee and Chattanooga, Tenn.

Economic pressures are prompting hospital consolidations across the country.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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