Weiss Memorial Hospital to enter joint venture with Vanguard Health Systems

Weiss Memorial Hospital to enter joint venture with Vanguard Health Systems

April 23, 2002

The University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System (UCHHS) and Vanguard Health Systems (Vanguard) have agreed to establish a joint venture that will acquire Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital, UCHHS's north side affiliate. The transaction will be completed early this summer.

The arrangement will bring new access to capital for investment as well as strengthened management expertise to the 369-licensed-bed Weiss Hospital, 4646 North Marine Drive.

Vanguard will assume 80% ownership of the joint venture. The University of Chicago Hospitals will retain a 20% stake. The partners will maintain the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System's clinical and educational programs at Weiss. Responsibility for Weiss Hospital's administration, however, will shift to the joint venture.

"Through this new relationship with Vanguard, Weiss Hospital gains access to capital that will enable us to continue to upgrade our facilities and expand our state-of-the-art medical technology," said Edward A. Cucci, Weiss president. "Combined with Weiss Hospital's $14 million, 45,000 sq. ft. expansion, which includes a brand-new emergency department and 16-bed intensive care unit, these further upgrades will strengthen Weiss' position as a quality acute care hospital serving Chicago's North Side."

"We are excited about partnering with the University of Chicago to continue Weiss Hospital's service to the community. This relationship is further evidence of our mission and Weiss because it is a distinguished community hospital, linked to a leading academic commitment to bridge the best of the non-profit providers' traditions of community, mission and service with expanded access to capital, organizational flexibility and economies of scale," stated Charles N. Martin, Vanguard's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Vanguard developed an interest in medical center, that has achieved a steady increase in medical, surgical and obstetrical admissions.

Weiss also has a distinguished legacy as an active member of its community, with multiple outreach efforts directed to the community's indigent, and dedicated services for diverse ethnic populations.

"Weiss will remain committed to serving the community under the new ownership," said Cucci.

Founded in 1953, Weiss became affiliated with the University of Chicago Hospitals in 1987. Patients at Weiss have access to many University of Chicago clinical programs there, including the Spine Center, Bone and Joint Center, Urology Center, Minimally Invasive Surgery Center, and others.

Vanguard Health Systems, Inc., formed in 1997 and based in Nashville, TN, currently owns and operates nine acute care hospitals and complementary ancillary services and facilities in Chicago, IL; Phoenix, AZ; and Orange County, CA. The Company's strategy is to develop locally branded, comprehensive health care delivery networks in urban markets. Vanguard will pursue acquisitions where management identifies opportunities to enhance existing delivery networks, or where there are opportunities to partner with leading delivery systems in new urban markets. Vanguard entered the Chicago marketplace in February of 2000 when it purchased MacNeal Health System of Berwyn.