BSA partnership for sale

In 1996, High Plains Baptist and Saint Anthony's merged to form the Baptist Saint Anthony's Health System, but Wednesday, that 16-year partnership came to an end.

At a news conference, CHRISTUS Health announced its intentions to sell its half of its shares.

A representative from CHRISTUS Health told us during an interview, right now B.S.A. is in a great position after coming off a successful year, and now is the right time to go.

CHRISTUS first informed its partner, Baptist Community Service, about its decision in June, and since then the two have been working together to explore their options.

"As we looked at our different markets of where we could bring the most value, we're confident that Baptist Saint Anthony is at a position where it will move forward successfully under any new owner, so we believed it was a good time to look at where we needed to focus our efforts in markets of greater need," said CHRISTUS Health Senior VP, Linda McClung. "It has been a great relationship and we're proud of what we've built, but it's time to move on and focus on some of our other markets with greater need."

CHRISTUS Health says it has no specific buyer or set price in mind, but informing the public was the first step.

"We wanted to be sure that the community and the employees knew first, so we haven't even begun the process, we will now, we'll go out and try to find other interested people who might be wanting to be part of this community, but that's going to happen after this."

As the process begins, B.C.S. will determine if it will sell all or part of its interest in the B.S.A. Health System.

"If we feel like this buyer is a really good fit, then we have comfort from an operational standpoint that the covets that are important to our faith based mission are maintained with this new purchaser we would be willing to sell all of our ownership interest," said BCS Senior VP, Steve Dalrymple.

B.S.A. CEO Bob Williams says he has spoken with his employees, and they plan to go on with business as usual.

"We'll continue to do everything we've been doing previously, we don't anticipate any change in the level of services, any change in the staffing levels, our commitment is the same as it has been and there has been no request for us to do anything like that."

Williams also said, "We're going to commit to quality health care and when people walk through our doors, that's what they expect, that's what they deserve and that's what we're going to give them."

Representatives from both B.C.S. and CHRISTUS say the process could take up to 12 months.

One of BSA Heath System's partners has announced its intention to sell its partnership.

CHRISTUS Health announced its plan Wednesday afternoon. According to a news release from BSA, its equal partner Baptist Community Services (BCS), will cooperate with CHRISTUS Health's decision. It said it will work to accommodate the sale.

"During our 16 year partnership with BCS, BSA Health System has been very successful in becoming the top quality health care provider for the Panhandle community," said Ernie Sadau, CEO of CHRISTUS Health. "We're very proud of what has been achieved with BSA. The health system has grown to meet the current health care demands of the community. The physicians, management and employees provide patients with the very best quality health care in the region."

BCS was initially informed about the decision in June of this year, BSA said. BSA and CHRISTUS Health worked in conjunction to explore the different options available.

While the sale process may take as long as a year, it will begin with the partners issuing a request for proposal (RFP) to prospective health care systems and companies. That includes both not-for-profit and for-profit companies and systems.

The two partners will immediately start to solicit interest from health care providers that will continue serving the needs of the Panhandle, the release said.

"Baptist Community Services is committed to protecting the community's interest in having quality health care at the hospital," said Steve Dalrymple, COO and General Counsel for BCS. "We understand and respect CHRISTUS's decision to follow its mission outside Amarillo, but BCS does not have the funds to purchase the CHRISTUS Health interest. In the coming months, we will be evaluating proposals from interested potential purchasers and will determine what level of involvement from BCS is appropriate to assure the best quality healthcare for our community," Dalrymple said. "During this process, BSA will continue to provide the high quality care its patients have come to expect."

BSA is having a press conference at 3.