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Steward Health Care announces six-point action plan and framework for future system

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | February 26, 2024 Business Affairs
DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amidst unprecedented challenges across the health care industry and within its system, Steward Health Care announced today a six-point action plan that will enable the organization to emerge as a sustainable business and move into its next operational phase.

Since its inception in 2010, with the purchase of the struggling Caritas Christi community hospital system, providing high-quality health care to the most vulnerable patient populations, beginning with Massachusetts, has been Steward’s north star. Steward’s evolution of its business and operations allows for a model of care that addresses external pressures and ensures uninterrupted patient care in Massachusetts and the other regions it serves.

“First and foremost, we want to continue to do the right thing for patients, our staff, and our communities. That is our commitment going forward. In the future, that will take a different form, but the mission remains the same,” said Michael Callum, M.D., Steward’s Executive Vice President for Physician Services and Interim President, NE Region.

The pillars of the Action Plan include:

Funding and Financial Stability: Steward, in concert with its current lenders, has recently finalized a robust financing agreement that will provide a $150 million cash infusion to provide additional liquidity as the company marches towards the sale of its highly desired asset physician group Stewardship Health. This allows Steward to reset its operations and address vendor obligations, which it is working diligently to resolve in service to getting to a sustainable operating model. Included in these agreements, the lenders have provided an additional “vote of confidence” in this plan. They have not only decided to increase their financial commitment to Steward through the bridge loan, but they have also agreed to extend their forbearance agreement through April 30, 2024 to give the Company time to execute this plan.

Employee Retention and Continuity: Steward’s skilled and dedicated clinicians and staff are the Company’s primary “asset.” The employees that come in day after day to care for its patients with the common goal of simply healing the sick, comforting the dying, and showing compassion to the families are the foundation of Steward. To maintain staffing and levels of care, Steward has successfully negotiated new labor agreements with the MNA and SEIU and secured and maintained its robust pension plan. It is continuing to incentivize its employees to ensure that medical centers and physician’s offices are open and continuing to serve patients and the broader community. In addition to be able to continue to recruit in a very competitive nursing market, the Company has instituted a plan to attract nursing employees to work at its busiest hospitals and has offered “referral” fees to current employees of up to $40,000 per hired employee.

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