WAUSAU – Leaders from Divine Savior Healthcare and the Sisters of the Divine Savior have signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Aspirus, a leading rural health care system based in Wausau. The two organizations now begin the due diligence process and expect to finalize the affiliation by the end of 2019.

Michael Decker

“The health care industry is changing, and this affiliation will help Divine Savior Healthcare continue to grow and evolve to better serve our communities,” said Michael Decker, DSH president and CEO, in a news release. “Aspirus has a long history of serving rural areas with compassion and excellence, and we look forward to bringing together our resources and expertise to ensure our long-term success.”

Based in Portage, Divine Savior Healthcare was founded in 1917 by the Sisters of the Divine Savior, and has grown to provide the region with health care services at its hospital, clinics, skilled nursing and assisted living facility, home health services, paramedic level ambulance service, child care center, medically-integrated fitness center and more. The nonprofit has more than 940 team members.

Matthew Heywood

“We are extremely excited to partner with a community system that has achieved so much,” said Matthew Heywood, Aspirus president and CEO, in the release. “Divine Savior has a tremendous team and strong service culture that closely aligns with our own. The commitment to community health and philanthropy mirrors that of Aspirus, and I look forward to generations of progressive, excellent care in Portage.”

Aspirus is a nonprofit, community-directed health system based in Wausau that employees more than 7,500. Aspirus serves communities through four hospitals in Michigan and four hospitals in Wisconsin, as well as 50 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and air-medical transport, medical goods, nursing homes, a broad network of physicians and a health insurance plan.

Sisters of the Divine Savior, also known as Salvatorian Sisters, are the women religious branch of the International Salvatorian Family. They collaborate in mission and ministry with priests and brothers of the Society of the Divine Savior and Lay Salvatorian women and men. Founded in Tivoli, Italy in 1888, the Sisters of the Divine Savior advance ministries in the U.S. that include human anti-trafficking initiatives, social work, counseling, law, art, pastoral care, education and health care.