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      St. Luke's becomes member of ProMedica Health System

      Saint Luke's in Maumee is ending its more than century-long history as an independent hospital. Wednesday it became a member of the ProMedica Health System.

      The process has been going on for more than a year and after much "due-diligence," St. Luke's Hospital has joined ProMedica Health System.

      "We're real excited about having an organization with a lot of talented people and an organization that shares the same mission," said Randy Oostra, ProMedica President and CEO. "They have a very patient-centric, a very health focused institution and we're really pleased that they're part of ProMedica, cause it fits so well with the rest of our facilities."

      "It's the patients first always -- the care, the concern, the compassion that everybody's become aware of and that we've earned here, our employees have earned, isn't going away just because we're now part of a system," said Dan Wakeman, St. Luke's Hospital President and CEO. "That system values those same things and they're going to want to make sure that stays here."

      Community members and employees will initially see changes in access to care they didn't have before. St. Luke's will now be included in the Paramount Health Care network. This change should be fairly easy for people to take in.

      "I think it's going to be pretty transparent to them because what we will do is start to sit down and say, 'okay, how can we improve access, what programs don't we have in certain parts of the city, which ones do we need to add, where do we have too many of them,'" said Barbara Steele, the Acute Care, ProMedica Health System President.

      Currently, about 15 to 20 percent of the people who live around St. Luke's carry a Paramount card, but were unable to utilize the hospital. With these changes, they now have a new place to seek care.

      "A big part of the mission is to take care of the community and when you can't take care of 15 or 20 percent of the community, there's that void and I think we're going to do a good job of that," said Wakeman. "I know we're going to do a good job of that."

      Even though the transaction is complete with the partnership between St. Luke's and ProMedica, people with Paramount insurance won't be able to go to St. Luke's facilities until Thursday.