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St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica plans sale to Providence

St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica plans sale to Providence
The Denver company that owns St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica has entered into exclusive negotiations with Providence Health & Services on a sale of the medical center.
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

The owner of St. John’s Health Center intends to sell the storied Santa Monica hospital to Catholic chain Providence Health & Services.

The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System in Denver said it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Providence, which owns St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank and four other Southern California hospitals.

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Sisters of Charity said the proposed deal is subject to approval by the California attorney general’s office and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. State officials routinely review sales of nonprofit hospitals.

No timetable was set on finalizing the deal, Sisters of Charity said.

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St. John’s has been subject to competing bids from several major players. One bidder was a group that included UCLA Health System and two large Catholic hospital chains, Ascension Health Alliance and Dignity Health.

Earlier this week, local billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong went public with his own bid for the hospital that had support from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Providence, based in Renton, Wash., runs 31 hospitals in California and four other states.

Roman Catholic nuns founded St. John’s in 1942 and oversaw the rebuilding of the hospital after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Hollywood stars Jimmy Stewart and Julie Andrews raised money for the hospital. St. John’s celebrity patients have included Michael Jackson, Maria Shriver and President Reagan.

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This latest development adds to a months-long drama playing out at St. John’s. In November, its owner abruptly fired most of the local board members and ousted the top two executives.

Sisters of Charity began soliciting offers for the hospital this year.

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