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St. Luke’s Moves Closer to Affiliation with Aspirus Health

Non-profit organizations sign definitive agreement to advance health care quality and expand access to services in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan

St. Luke’s has taken another step in advancing its mission and vision of serving our region. A definitive agreement has been reached with Aspirus, marking a milestone in the affiliation process.

St. Luke’s has been at the forefront of providing health care services for 140-plus years, making a profound impact on the vitality of the region. A strategic partnership with Aspirus Health will expand our reach and deliver even more personalized and comprehensive care to those who need it across the region.

Patient-Centered Quality Care Is Top Priority

St. Luke’s and Aspirus have a shared mission that is focused on the patient. With this mission in mind, together they will solve health care challenges in northeastern Minnesota, northern and central Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to create a healthier future for people across the states.

St. Luke’s will remain a major care delivery hub for the region, a role that will benefit from the successful care model Aspirus Health employs in its current footprint. Patients will be able to see their same doctors and use their same health plan throughout the affiliation process.

Quality Care

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, the organizations will collectively focus on these specific areas to advance quality care in the region:

  • Aspirus will invest at least $300 million over eight years to fund St. Luke’s strategic projects.
  • Aspirus will implement Epic and other standard systems to promote integration and efficiency within 24 months of closing.
  • Aspirus Health Plan will expand into St. Luke’s service area within 24 months of closing to promote coordinated, cost-efficient, and effective delivery of healthcare services to its members.

Next Steps

The organizations now begin the process to receive federal and state regulatory approvals. The organizations hope to complete the affiliation in early 2024.

For more information, see the joint announcement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this affiliation good for the community?

The strength of the Aspirus system will allow St. Luke’s to be sustainable long-term, maintain competitive offerings for our communities, and expand our impact faster than we can on our own. Bringing our organizations together will allow us to grow while managing the cost of care and maintaining high quality care and patient experiences. Our tightly aligned missions and values of patient-centric care and commitment to our communities make joining with Aspirus a value-add for our patients, our staff, and our broader network and will strengthen our exceptional care and services that people can count on for generations to come.

Do we anticipate that any sites will close?

No. The purpose of the affiliation is growth and both systems are aligned in this goal. The combined organizations plan to grow the workforce, with an emphasis on clinical roles. We will work on bringing more opportunity to our region and continuing to invest in the Aspirus network. Together the two systems would provide patients with access to 19 hospitals, more than 130 clinics, and nearly 14,000 employees, including nearly 1,300 physicians and advanced practice clinicians – providing our services to a broadened community across northeastern Minnesota to northern and central Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Will this take away resources from staff?

This agreement is intended to strengthen the performance and long-term viability of both organizations. This will strengthen resources for staff – laying the groundwork for expanded care services and a shared, successful culture that continues to make St. Luke’s an employer of choice.