St. Luke’s announces merger with Aspirus Health

St. Luke’s Hospital has announced a future affiliate with Aspirus Health, signing a letter of intent to mark what they say will create a comprehensive health care system serving residents of northeastern Minnesota, northern and central Wisconsin, and the UP of Michigan.

Aspirus Health and St. Luke’s say they are like-minded organizations with closely aligned missions, visions, and values that “center on creating thriving communities and serving patients with compassionate and comprehensive care.”

“We envision a future where access to excellent health care is easier and more seamless for patients. Aspirus has a history of being nimble, innovative and forward-thinking in how we deliver care for the communities we serve,” said Matthew Heywood, Aspirus Health President and CEO. “We welcome the opportunity to expand into Minnesota with St. Luke’s and look forward to learning from one another and building upon our collective strengths to benefit our teams and patients.”

“From our founding days in 1881, St. Luke’s has remained patient-focused above all else. Joining forces with Aspirus Health enables us to expand access and better support clinical staff to reach even more patients,” said Nicholas Van Deelen, MD, St. Luke’s Co-President/CEO and Chief Medical Officer. “The like-minded missions of St. Luke’s and Aspirus are rooted in serving people — our patients and the people who care for our patients. It is with people in mind that we make this bold move to grow in a way that maintains our exceptional quality and patient experience.”

The nonprofit health systems say they are unified under common goals: to advance quality of care in the region, expand local and rural access to health care, and strengthen communities.

The combined organization will operate 19 hospitals and 130 outpatient locations, with nearly
14,000 team members, including 1,300 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians. The system will operate headquarters in Wausau, Wisconsin and maintain a corporate office in Duluth, Minnesota.

St. Luke’s will remain a major care delivery hub for the region. The goal is to complete the affiliation process in early 2024, following all due diligence, regulatory reviews and necessary approvals.