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UAB system plans to purchase Ascension St. Vincent hospitals in central Alabama

The UAB Health System Authority will later this year purchase the Ascension St. Vincent’s Health System in central Alabama, the hospital system announced on Tuesday.

The UAB board of trustees unanimously approved the $450 million acquisition during a meeting Tuesday morning, multiple news outlets reported.

Under the agreement, UAB Health System Authority will assume ownership of all Ascension St. Vincent’s sites. They include hospitals and facilities in Birmingham, and Blount, Chilton and St. Clair counties.

“Patients will continue to have access to the healthcare services and providers they’ve come to trust, and ultimately gain access to a larger care network,” UAB Health System CEO Dawn Bulgarella said in a written statement.

In 2020, the two systems launched an operating agreement called the UAB/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance. The purchase announced Tuesday is the next step to sustainable care, officials said.

“UAB and St. Vincent’s exist to improve lives, and that purpose will drive our actions in the coming months and beyond,” said Bulgarella, who is also CEO of the alliance.

The UAB Health System includes 17 hospitals.

“As part of our shared commitment to our patients, caregivers, associates and community, we have continued to discuss options to better deliver on our missions in an increasingly complex environment,” said Ascension St. Vincent’s CEO and Ascension Senior Vice President Jason Alexander.

“It became clear that adding Ascension St. Vincent’s to UAB Health System’s network of owned hospitals – and combining and optimizing our collective strengths – is the solution to ensure that our community retains access to sustainable, high-quality healthcare. Among other benefits, patients will gain access to a larger network of local services through UAB.”

The purchase is expected to be finalized this fall, pending regulatory approval and that of the Catholic Church.

In its written statement, UAB said the deal would strengthen hospital care in the region, noting closures elsewhere. 

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and other local leaders praised the announcement on Tuesday.

“We are grateful to St. Vincent’s for serving Birmingham and are gratified that its healthcare ministry will still be in capable hands with (UAB),” Woodfin said on X.

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