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Archdiocese-UMMS Reach Agreement on Continued Operation of St. Joseph as a Catholic Hospital

Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, announced today that the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) have reached agreement on terms that will allow St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson to continue operating as a Catholic hospital. The assets of St. Joseph, which has operated as a Catholic hospital since 1864, are being purchased by UMMS and the entity will operate under the name University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center (UM-SJMC) beginning next month.

“St. Joseph Medical Center has provided quality, Catholic healthcare to people of all faiths for over 145 years,” Archbishop Lori said. “The hospital’s Catholic identity is pervasive in virtually every aspect of its operation. This agreement will ensure that the new University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center will continue St. Joseph’s long tradition of providing faith-filled care.”

The agreement provides a framework within which the hospital can continue authentic Catholic traditions and practices. Church law requires the local bishop to give his imprimatur or nihil obstat in such transactions. Because the hospital is being sold to a non-Catholic entity, Vatican approval is required.

Mr. Francis X. Kelly, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UM-SJMC, said, "This is something the board wants to do. We are thrilled that the archbishop and the archdiocese agreed to allow us to continue the strong Catholic traditions at St. Joseph Medical Center. We are looking forward to working closely with Archbishop Lori, for whom I have a great deal of respect."

There are five Catholic hospitals located in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In 2011, these hospitals served over 1.8 million patients. Nationwide, the Catholic Church operates 12.6 percent of hospitals in the U.S. with one out of every six patients in the United States being treated at a Catholic hospital.