Providence Health & Services — the parent organization to St. Peter Hospital in Olympia — has merged with St. Joseph Health to become Providence St. Joseph Health, the two Catholic hospital chains announced Wednesday.
Providence Health & Services is based in Renton, while St. Joseph Health is in Irvine, California. The new entity has 50 hospitals in seven states, including Oregon, Washington and Alaska, and employs more than 100,000 people.
Chris Thomas, a spokesman for Providence in Southwest Washington, said the two organizations had been in talks for about 16 months before Wednesday’s announcement.
“There will be no change to any local ministries,” said Thomas, which includes St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. He added that the relationship between the two groups will be similar to the affiliation struck between Providence and Swedish Health Services in 2012.
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Thomas also said the two organizations have “no intent to reduce jobs at all.”
“People are at the heart of our organization,” he said.
The merger was approved by California’s attorney general last month. The agreement required Providence St. Joseph to invest $30 million in providing mental health services in California.
On Wednesday, the new chain announced it will invest $100 million in a foundation and institute to look into mental health research, prevention and care around the country.
Fund distributions will be made through a grant process and be available to Providence St. Joseph Health entities, as well as other organizations within the communities it serves, according to a news release.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.