Virginia Mason, CHI Franciscan announce merger plan

Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan, two of the largest health care systems in the Northwest, on Tuesday announced a plan to merge.

The new hospital system, called Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, will operate 11 hospitals and about 300 clinics, with more than 18,000 employees.

"Virginia Mason Franciscan Health has an incredibly strong foundation to build upon as our two storied organizations come together with an exciting vision, particularly as we expand services for the most vulnerable in our communities," said Ketul J. Patel, CEO of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and president of the Pacific Northwest Division of CommonSpirit Health. "We are committed to building a consumer-focused health care system while expanding our presence as a national leader in the transformation of health care delivery."

Hospital officials said all patients will continue to use their same care providers and current insurance plans. Patients will be notified directly ahead of any changes that may take place.

"Today is a great day for our organization and our community," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, CEO of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. "For years we have worked with CHI Franciscan, but now, together, our potential is limitless. We will be able to apply learnings across our entire system that not only improve the patient experience, but also change health care delivery for the better." 

The new combined health system's parent company is CommonSpirit Health, one of the largest non-profit health systems in the country.