On January 1, 2020, Illinois Valley Community Hospital (IVCH) in Peru, IL joined St. Margaret’s Health in Spring Valley, IL, a member of SMP Health System. The hospitals, which are located just 4 miles from each other, have both served communities in the Illinois River Valley for more than 100 years. This combination represents a multi-year process by IVCH to evaluate its future and strategic options. Juniper proudly represented IVCH on this transaction.

The partnership between IVCH and St. Margaret’s can serve as a model for other rural standalone hospitals seeking economies of scale while preserving local autonomy and clinical services.

IVCH and St. Margaret’s share a vision for efficiently delivering high-quality healthcare in the region. Together they intend to create a sustainable regional health network that will be able to meet the needs of their communities long into the future.

A key priority for the IVCH Board of Directors and executive team was to expand access to care locally and provide services to patients close to home.

“We knew that survival in the future would require adding more services, which we couldn’t justify with our existing budget,” said Jim Loveland, President of the IVCH Board of Directors and now a member of the newly combined St. Margaret’s Health Board of Directors. “We took to heart our communities’ long-time call for IVCH and St. Margaret’s to work together more closely. Together we can be more efficient, recognize economies of scale and enhance the existing strengths of each organization.”

Juniper’s work with IVCH began with a broad assessment of the national healthcare market followed by an analysis of how IVCH fits into the regional care delivery network.

“When we started, the first and most important thing Juniper did was to paint the big picture of healthcare and then shrink that window and focus more on our local reality,” said Loveland. “The outside-in approach was very nicely done. It was an iterative, self-defining process that helped us get to our goal.”