Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UAB to acquire Ascension St. Vincent’s Health System

CW File

The UA system board of trustees and UAB Health System announced the acquisition of the Ascension St. Vincent’s Health System for $450 million Tuesday. According to a news release, the acquisition should be completed in fall 2024.

UAB and St. Vincent’s first partnered in 2020 “to further enhance patient care and address Alabama’s most challenging health threats.” UAB will now assume control over all Ascension St. Vincent’s sites, adding on to the system with Alabama’s top hospital according to U.S News and World Reports.  

Sid Trant, interim chancellor of the UA System, said that the board acquired St. Vincent’s to help the UA system compete with the best health programs in the nation.

“The UA system’s vision is to be the preeminent public system of higher education and healthcare in the United States, and this momentous milestone moves us much closer to fulfilling that mission,” Trant said at the meeting.

Dawn Bulgarella, CEO of UAB Health System, said at the meeting that the acquisition will expand St. Vincent’s and UAB’s care network and lay the groundwork for strengthening Alabama’s healthcare going forward.

The board saw the acquisition of St. Vincent’s as an opportunity to pool the resources of the two systems to increase healthcare outcomes for all patients, Bulgarella said in the news release.

“We firmly believe that this will give healthcare in Alabama a more sustainable future and be a very positive thing for our patients, our communities and for the St. Vincent’s and UAB teams,” Bulgarella said. 

More than a quarter of Alabama’s rural hospitals were at high risk of closure in 2020, and several have closed over the past decade. In April, Bullock County Hospital was forced to scale down to a rural emergency hospital, which provides less services, to save money.

Tuscaloosa’s Druid City Hospital System has struggled financially in recent years and operated at a $116 million loss between 2021-22.

Alicia Rohan, director of public relations for UAB, said that there were no plans to acquire other hospitals at the time but that UAB Health system would continue to form affiliate and management agreements to strengthen hospitals around the state.

Bulgarella said that the Ascension St. Vincent’s Health System would be completely integrated into the UAB Health System following the acquisition. She added that UAB would keep St. Vincent’s staff largely in place and that patients could continue to see their previous physicians after the merger. 

“The University of Alabama Health System exists to improve the lives of Alabamians and beyond,” Trant said. “This acquisition will further that mission by … promoting increased access to high-quality care, now and for generations to come.”

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