SCL Health System and Providence Health & Services, Southern California, have signed a non-binding letter of intent for Providence to assume sponsorship of Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. “Providence has shown tremendous dedication to providing high-quality, compassionate care in the Catholic tradition for Southern California,” said Michael Slubowski, president and chief executive officer of the SCL Health System. “This change in sponsorship will provide support to expand and enhance the healing ministry of Saint John’s for individuals and families in Santa Monica and surrounding communities.”The Saint John’s board of directors, SCLHS and Leaven Ministries (the canonical sponsor of SCLHS) reviewed proposals for a new strategic partner to advance Saint John’s position among health networks in Southern California. In what officials described as “an objective, thoughtful and prayerful process,” the three groups identified Providence as “uniquely qualified to advance the ministry at Saint John’s.”Providence Southern California is a Catholic not-for-profit organization that operates five acute care hospitals and an array of ancillary healthcare facilities across Los Angeles County, including Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, Burbank; Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Mission Hills; Providence Tarzana Medical Center; and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in Torrance and San Pedro. "We look forward to working in collaboration with the caregivers, physicians, volunteers, board and foundation to serve the communities of the Westside," said Michael Hunn, senior vice president and chief executive of Providence Southern California. “Saint John’s is a vital institution with deep similarities to the history, culture and mission of Providence. We recognize Saint John’s historic importance to those who depend on it for care, and we look forward to working together to help ensure that this medical center will continue its leadership in patient care and community service.” The letter of intent is a non-binding agreement that provides a roadmap for SCLHS and Providence to move forward with the necessary steps to pursue the proposed sponsorship transfer. SCLHS and Providence will enter an exclusive due diligence and negotiation process in order to arrive at a definitive agreement. The proposed change in sponsorship is subject to review and approval by the attorney general of California. The transfer of canonical sponsorship to Providence Ministries is subject to approval by the archbishop of Los Angeles and the Holy See.Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica opened in 1942, founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, a religious community working primarily in education, healthcare, social services and pastoral ministry. SCL Health System (SCLHS), based in Denver, is a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization operating nine hospitals, four safety net clinics, one children’s mental health treatment center and more than 160 ambulatory service centers in California, Colorado, Kansas and Montana. Providence Health & Services, Southern California, has numerous ancillary facilities in addition to its acute care hospitals, including hospice care, long-term care, numerous outpatient clinics, Providence Medical Institute, Providence High School and an affiliation with Facey Medical Group. Its national system, Providence Health & Services, includes hospitals, physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and other health and educational services in Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon and Washington.