St. Joe’s now Ascension Saint Joseph – Joliet

Hospital rebranded under new corporate umbrellas as AMITA ‘goes away’

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Health department treatment is the last resort for people without health insurance, Troiani said.

“People come to us if they’re on Medicaid," Troiani said. "Most providers will not take Medicaid because it pays so poorly and with the state you might wait a year until you get paid,”

Troiani also said that there’s a shortage of psychologists who are willing to take Medicaid.
According to Troiani, accessibility to outpatient and psychiatric services, primarily for those who have no financial resources or are on Medicaid is one area lacking in the county.

“We’re the safety net. When there’s nothing else available, they come here. If somebody is not working, doesn’t have any money, they’re not going to be seen in the private sector,” Troiani said.

According to the counties needs assessments, Will County has one mental health provider for every 1,063 people. In Grundy County that ratio is 1,196:1. In Illinois, 560:1 and in the United States, it’s 370:1.

Dr. Gary Lipinski, chief medical officer at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, said the hospital is committed to providing care, regardless of a patient’s health insurance coverage or ability to pay.

“Additionally, we are encouraged for many of our mental, acute and chronic illness patients in need of care because of the full-year budget recently passed in Springfield and supported by many of our area lawmakers, resulting in funds beginning to be paid more quickly to Medicaid providers,” Lipinski said in an email.

According to Susan Hudson, mental health director of the Grundy County Health Department, the Affordable Care Act paved way for people in crisis with Medicaid to be referred to a private hospital closer to home like Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center or Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, rather then be sent to John Madden Mental Health Center in Maywood, which is the last existing state facility that takes state aid.

“When the Affordable Care Act was enacted so many more people were then eligible for medical care including mental health counseling,” Hudson said.

The problem, in part, is that the limited providers of psychiatric services don't all accept state insurance, Hudson said. There are no other providers of psychiatric services in Grundy County that take the Medicaid card other than the psychiatric doctor through Tele Psychiatry, Hudson added.

People can Skype the doctor at the Grundy County Health Department. That doctor handles about 130 cases over four to six weeks, Hudson said. The Grundy County Health Department currently has about 230 cases, Hudson added.

"If people have private insurance there’s a number of places to go but the co-pays are high and the medications are expensive," Hudson said.

Joliet’s hospital has another new name and will be called officially Ascension Saint Joseph – Joliet.

The name change in some form had been expected since October when AMITA Health announced it was breaking up into two separate entities with the Joliet hospital going with St. Louis-based Ascension.

The breakup was announced as completed Friday.

It’s the fourth change in corporate ownership for the Joliet hospital, often simply called St. Joe’s by locals, since the late 1990s.

AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet

The AMITA name is still on the Joliet hospital and affiliated clinics in the area, and a spokesman said it will take some time to complete the rebranding.

The breakup into two groups, which AMITA called an “unwinding,” split apart two entities that were put together in the formation of AMITA: Ascension and Altamonte Springs, Florida-based AdventHealth.

AdventHealth includes the AdventHealth Bolingbrook hospital, which also is being rebranded and had been AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Bolingbrook under AMITA Health.

AMITA Health as an organization no longer exists.

“With the unwinding, AMITA goes away,” Ascension spokesman Timothy Nelson said Monday.

The AMITA name isn’t going off the signage immediately, but patients should not be affected by the change, Nelson said.

AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet

“It’s just a rebranding,” he said. “It will have no impact on patient care.”

While AMITA has broken up into two smaller healthcare groups, the Joliet hospital remains part of a large network.

The Joliet hospital is part of Ascension Illinois, which consists of the former Presence Health and Alexian Brothers Health System networks.

Presence Health, parent company of Presence Saint Joseph Hospital in Joliet, has signed a non-binding letter of intent to join Ascension and become part of AMITA Health.

AMITA is a joint venture of Ascension's Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health.

Through this transaction, Presence Health's medical centers, outpatient facilities and other sites will become AMITA Health.

It is “one of the largest health systems in Illinois” with 14 hospitals and more than 150 sites that stretch from the northwest suburbs of Chicago to Kankakee, according to a news release issued by Ascension on Friday.

Chicago-based Ascension Illinois is part of the larger Ascension group, a network of more than 2,600 healthcare sites, including 142 hospitals and 40 senior living facilities in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Included in the Ascension Illinois network is the Kankakee hospital, now known as Ascension Saint Mary – Kankakee, which has been affiliated with the Joliet hospital since they both became part of the Provena Health network in the late 1990s.

In February, AMITA Health announced that Christopher Shride, president of the Kankakee hospital, would also take on that role at the Joliet hospital. The same dual role has existed in the past under different organizations.

This is the fourth corporate change and rebranding for both the Joliet and Kankakee hospitals since Provena Health was created in the late 1990s. Presence Health was created in 2012 before becoming part of AMITA Health in 2018.

The hospital’s most recent name was its longest, officially being AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet.