To ensure continued access to high-quality, comprehensive care in our communities, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors has selected the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, a leading healthcare innovator in Louisiana and Mississippi founded in 1911, as the potential buyer of Singing River Health System to enhance our services and achieve our mission.
Expanding access to care for generations to come.
We are committed to ensuring our patients receive the best possible care and support now and in the future.
Continuing to provide a full range of care services within our communities remains our top priority.
Equipment and Technology
As the industry changes, Singing River is committed to remaining a leader in providing the safest, leading-edge healthcare solutions. To keep up with evolving technology and regulations, investing in hospital equipment and maintenance is crucial.
Equal Access to Care
Our mission is to provide equal access to care at minimal cost, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. We are excited about the potential of partnering with FMOLHS as they share a similar care philosophy, ensuring the overall health, security and well-being of all our patients.
Working with FMOLHS, our goal is to continue making critical investments in our staff, infrastructure and equipment. Staying in lockstep with the latest developments in medical technology is key to offering life-saving innovation and technology to our patients and ensuring the best outcomes.
As a leading healthcare provider in Jackson County and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we make patient care and safety our highest priority at all times, serving with exceptional levels of compassion, empathy and attention that exceed expectations and form unbreakable bonds. Patients and their families are our guests. They are the reason we are here.
At Singing River, we play an essential role in our communities by:
- Focusing on Safety & Quality. All three of our hospitals have achieved an “A” rating for safety and quality, according to Leapfrog, which provides a grading scale for industry standards.
- Investing in our local community. As the second-largest employer in Jackson County, Singing River is an integral part of the local economy.
The Challenges We Face
The healthcare industry has continually changed over the last decade, with community hospitals like ours facing the strongest headwinds. The increased cost of staffing, equipment and technology impacts our profitability and diminishes our ability to invest and grow our system of care. As stated in the Raymond James report that was shared at the BOS meeting on July 5th, some of the challenges we face include:
Mississippi has the second-lowest overall health ranking in the U.S., the highest poverty rate in the country and an uninsured population significantly above national averages.
Mississippi is one of 12 states that did not adopt a Medicaid expansion, which means the amount of income that would have gone to health systems in our state is slated to decrease, significantly impacting hospitals like Singing River that provide significant care for underinsured and uninsured populations.
Like many community hospitals across the country, Singing River faces staffing shortages and must focus on retaining staff long-term while attracting new talent to serve our communities.
What are we looking for in a partner?
When we shared our core considerations with the BOS last year, we were pleased to see these qualifications represented in the final RFP. Over the next few months, we look forward to engaging with Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System to meet their team and learn more about them and their plans to support our employees, providers and community as we outlined in our search process. We believe a partnership with FMOLHS is the right next step to achieve our goals of:
Financial Stability: Providing adequate financial resources to acquire SRHS’s operations and assets and assume the full payment of benefit pension liabilities while committing to capital for routine and strategic projects.
Keep Care Local: Safeguarding the community’s healthcare interests by keeping local care local.
Invest in Our Community: Committing to continuing to provide charity care in Jackson County.
Invest in Our People: Committing to retaining all Singing River employees in good standing and ensure the continued support of employed and independent contractor physicians and Singing River Health System’s Workforce Academy.
Release RFP for public bid
End of January 2023
Initial Proposals Due
March 10, 2023
Final Proposals Due
March 27, 2023
BOS selects like-minded partner
Final Agreement and Transaction Close
Over the next few months, we look forward to engaging with FMOLHS to meet their team and learn more about them and their plans to support our employees, providers and community.
Our priority continues to be providing exceptional care to all those we serve, and we remain committed to keeping you informed. We are excited about the possibilities for our future with FMOLHS and what this means for healthcare in Mississippi.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help you learn more about our partnership exploration process. You can also submit a question of your own in the submission box. We will update this page regularly to answer new questions we receive.
Over the last several months the Jackson County Board of Supervisors has been leading the process of selling Singing River Health System to a larger, like-minded healthcare organization to help us enhance our services and continue our mission.
We are excited about the potential to partner with the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS), a leading healthcare innovator in Louisiana and Mississippi founded in 1911.
Why did we seek a partnership?
As a leading healthcare provider in Jackson County and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, patient care and safety are our highest priorities at all times, serving with exceptional levels of compassion, empathy and attention that exceed expectations and form unbreakable bonds. Patients and their families are our guests. They are the reason we are here.
We sought a like-minded partner to ensure that Singing River will be able to meet the needs of our employees, patients and community members. Together, we will build on the strong foundation Singing River has established since we first originated as Jackson County Hospital in 1931. FMOLHS is committed to ensuring our patients receive access to high-quality, accessible care. They also believe in keeping care local, investing in our community and investing in our people.
Who are the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS)?
The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is a leading healthcare innovator in Louisiana and Mississippi. They are headquartered in Baton Rouge, LA, and serve patients across Louisiana and Mississippi through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated information systems.
Their presence in Mississippi includes St. Dominic Health Services, the parent company for a large group of subsidiary organizations and programs dedicated to providing compassionate care and hope as a healing ministry. These include St. Dominic Hospital, the Community Health Clinic, St. Dominic Medical Associates (physician network), New Directions for Over 55, MEA Clinics, The Club at St. Dominic’s, St. Dominic Health Services Foundation, St. Catherine’s Village and Care-A-Van.
What are the RFP Qualifications?
We shared our core considerations with the BOS in September, and are pleased to see these qualifications represented in the minimum requirements and objectives of the final RFP, which is summarized below:
- Financial Stability: A partner that can provide adequate financial resources to acquire SRHS’s operations and assets and assume the full payment of benefit pension liabilities. In addition, they must commit to a minimum five-year capital commitment for routine and strategic projects.
- Keep Care Local: A partner that can safeguard the community’s healthcare interests by keeping local care local with additional commitments to:
- Operate SRHS’s Emergency Departments
- Maintain behavioral health services in Jackson County at or above what is currently provided
- Share plans for the continuing support and growth of services
- Invest in Our Community: A partner that can commit to continuing to provide charity care in Jackson County.
- Invest In Our People: A partner that can commit to retaining all Singing River employees in good standing and ensure the continued support of employed and independent contractor physicians and Singing River Health System’s Workforce Academy.
For more details about the RFP Qualifications, click below.
When did we decide to launch this process?
Singing River has a successful history of partnerships, which have served to improve healthcare in our community. Though we have considered this opportunity for some time, the Singing River Health System Board of Trustees formally considered and passed the resolution on June 1, 2022 and the Jackson County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on July 18, 2022 to formally begin the process.
How will this impact services?
Our commitment to our patients and communities remains steadfast, and our priority continues to be providing exceptional care to those we serve. Nothing will change immediately for our patients and community. Patients will continue to see the same providers they know and trust, and we will continue to support community programs. Be assured that you will continue to have access to care from your providers without any interruption and we will continue to accept the insurance plans we do today.
How will the Pension be protected if the system is no longer County-owned?
The pension will continue to be funded for current employees and our valued retirees as it is today.
One of the absolute “non-negotiable” requirements for any potential partner is to honor our commitment to the Pension settlement trust fund. Proceeds from the partnership would go straight into the trust fund to maintain payments for the life of the plan, pursuant to the terms of the settlement.
What does the process timeline look like?
What were the details of a potential petition?
The purpose of a petition would be to request the county hold an election to allow voters to determine whether Jackson County should proceed with Singing River Health System becoming fully part of a larger, like-minded health system or for the hospital to remain independent and remain County-owned. The public had until September 7th to sign a petition that would result in a public vote to sell our health system, but the petition did not reach the required 1,500 registered voter signatures.
Do you know who submitted bids to buy Singing River Health System?
To protect the confidentiality of the process, all proposals were submitted to Raymond James, a third-party healthcare-focused advisory firm. Raymond James then shared the proposals directly with the County who is managing the process and who made the decision to further explore a partnership with FMOLHS.
We’re Committed to Keeping You Informed as We Move Forward.
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