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Carle Health completes deal to add three hospitals to system

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The organization welcomes hospitals and clinics formerly with UnityPoint-Central Illinois.

Months after announcing an agreement, Carle Health has closed a deal to bring three hospitals into the system.

Carle Health has acquired three hospitals from UnityPoint Health-Central Illinois. Keith Knepp, CEO of UnityPoint Health-Central Illinois, and James Leonard, president and CEO of Carle Health, finalize the agreement. With the merger, Knepp will serve as president of Carle Health Greater Peoria. (Photo: Carle Health)

Carle Health has acquired three hospitals from UnityPoint Health-Central Illinois. Keith Knepp, CEO of UnityPoint Health-Central Illinois, and James Leonard, president and CEO of Carle Health, finalize the agreement. With the merger, Knepp will serve as president of Carle Health Greater Peoria. (Photo: Carle Health)

Carle Health, based in Urbana, Illinois, completed the acquisition of three hospitals formerly associated with UnityPoint-Central Illinois: Methodist, Proctor and Pekin hospitals. In addition, Carle Health also takes over 76 clinics and other sites of care. Carle Health also gains an affiliation with Methodist College, a private college in Peoria offering degrees in nursing, social work and healthcare.

The deal was closed April 1. The systems previously announced an agreement to come together last fall.

Including the three newly added hospitals, Carle Health now operates eight hospitals, along with a host of physician practices.

James Leonard, president and CEO of Carle Health, said the partnership “will enhance greater patient-centered healthcare in central Illinois.”

“Our mission, vision, values and culture align, establishing a foundation to extend excellence in the delivery of healthcare services for years to come,” Leonard said in a statement. “Our future is bright. Wherever a person’s health journey takes them, we will be there to help them through.”

Patients won’t see any disruptions of service and there will be no change in locations of providers of care, Carle Health said. All scheduled appointments and procedures will remain in place, the system said.

Eventually, all of the newly acquired sites will have the Carle Health logos, but patients and visitors may see the older branding on some sites for a short time.

The three newly acquired hospitals will be known as Carle Health Methodist Hospital; Carle Health Proctor Hospital; and Carle Health Pekin Hospital. Combined, the three hospitals have 634 beds.

Some behavioral health locations and services under UnityPoint Health will also move to a new name: Trillium Place.

Carle Health said the move allows for greater access to care and investments in local communities to provide services beyond the walls of the system’s hospitals.

Keith Knepp, formerly CEO of UnityPoint Health-Central Illinois, is now president of Carle Health Greater Peoria. Knepp said the addition of the hospitals and clinics will lead to better patient care.

“We are stronger together,” Knepp said in a statement. “The strength of being one system with Carle Health is the chance to leverage more tools and resources throughout the organization in the best way possible. Patients have the opportunity to find the support they need close to home, and with providers, they know and trust.”

With the deal, the UnityPoint Health-Central Illinois Foundation will now be known as the Carle Health Center for Philanthropy-Greater Peoria. Contributions directed to Methodist, Proctor and Pekins hospitals and other services will continue to reflect the wishes of the donor and go to the donor’s intended recipients, Carle Health said.

UnityPoint Health said last month it is exploring a merger with Presbyterian Healthcare Services. If that deal is completed, it would lead to a merged organization with more than 40 hospitals.


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