Posted by: sweeneyblog | April 4, 2013

Potential PeaceHealth Merger Called Off



Remember my article earlier this year about the impending PeaceHealth merger? It looks like it is not going to happen. The Bellingham Herald is reporting that Catholic Health Initiatives, the conservative health management group, will not be partnering with PeaceHealth. This is reassuring for many in this community who were concerned that the main health provider would be barred from offering up contraceptives or would not meet the needs of the LGBT community.

Linda McCarthy, executive director of Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood, responded to the news:

We were relieved to hear the news that the pending partnership negotiations were suspended. Catholic Health Initiatives was unacceptably ultraconservative to many people, including donors to PeaceHealth. Any hospital system that says contraception is “immoral” is wildly out of tune with the morals and values of people in our community.

But we’re going to stay vigilant because it was PeaceHealth that came to us last year saying the bishop had asked them to discontinue performing labs for our patients, as they did previously in Eugene. While they continue to do labs for our patients today, we are concerned that could change at any time. We remain focused on assuring that there is never a compromise that would negatively affect our patient’s health or safety.

I will continue to track this story, but it looks like for the time being, Whatcom County residents can rest easier with the devil they know, rather than the health manager they don’t.



  1. The crux issue is precisely the one that Ms. McCarthy identified: PeaceHealth took the initiative with regard to disrupting laboratory services for Planned Parenthood. The organization also makes patient choice with respect to “end of life” issues difficult to exercise and even more difficult to implement. On a relative scale, the organization appears more benign and tolerant than does CHI, but that’s on a relative scale and, like in an investment prospectus, it is no guarantee of future performance, is it?

  2. As the old Alka-Selzer ad goes, “Oh, what a relief it is!”.

    While still antideluvian (as well as anti-labor), Peace Health is less so than Catholic Health Initiatives (a true oxymoronic name when it comes to the health of females).

  3. Question to Riley: Do e-mails to your blog subscribers go out in different batches? I always get these late at night and typically someone else has replied 12 hours or more earlier. I replied relatively early above because another subscriber forwarded what he had received.

    • They are supposed to all go out the moment I post but sometimes WordPress does weird things.

  4. […] PeaceHealth has also drawn significant controversy for their potential merger with an even more conservative catholic company last year that eventually fell through, in part due to the massive public opposition to the merger. […]

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