For decades, Ripon Medical Center (RMC) was an independent organization.

   Financial constraints, though, led to it affiliating in 2011 with an organization just down the road: Agnesian HealthCare in Fond du Lac.

   Soon, its leadership likely will be a lot further away.

   Agnesian announced today (Wednesday) that its sponsoring organization — the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) — has signed a letter of intent to transfer sponsorship of Agnesian to one of the largest health-care organizations in the Midwest.

   It’s a process that’s expected to take several months.

   If completed, St. Louis-based SSM Health — a Catholic, not-for-profit health system — would acquire Agnesian HealthCare as well as the Monroe Clinic in Wisconsin, both of which are sponsored by CSA.

   According to a press release sent out today at 10 a.m., “The decision to pursue a transfer was initiated and guided by CSA ... Changes in the Wisconsin payer and provider markets, combined with the changing demographics of the Congregation, led CSA to consider how to best uphold the legacy of its health-care ministries and maintain the level of care that patients and communities expect.”

   In that release, Sister Jean Steffes, general superior of CSA, said, “We are incredibly proud of the quality and compassionate health-care provided through our ministries. Both institutions powerfully bring our values and mission to life.

   “The time is right for us to focus on the long-term sustainability of Agnesian HealthCare and Monroe Clinic. With their reputation for mission-driven, high-quality and compassionate care, we believe SSM Health is a strong strategic partner to both preserve and advance the organizations.”

Read the full story in the July 13, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.