Decatur Memorial Hospital joins Memorial Health System

After receiving all regulatory approvals, Decatur Memorial Hospital became the fifth hospital to join Memorial Health System, effective Oct. 1. Decatur Memorial Hospital becomes the eighth full affiliate of Memorial Health System and its second largest hospital.

“Our affiliation with Memorial Health System will better position us to meet our community’s health care needs,” said Larry Altenbaumer, chair of the board of directors for Decatur Memorial Hospital. “We look forward to partnering with the health system, which has shown a deep commitment to improving the lives of the people of central Illinois.”

Drew Early, former vice president of operations for Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, the flagship hospital of Memorial Health System, is the new president and CEO of Decatur Memorial Hospital. He has been with the health system for 13 years and was previously named a "Forty Under 40" by Springfield Business Journal.

“In my weeks in Decatur to help lead the transition, I have been heartened every day by the passion and commitment that Decatur Memorial Hospital colleagues demonstrate in caring for our patients and providing the best possible experience for them and their loved ones,” Early said.

Early assumed the role of Decatur Memorial Hospital president and CEO from Tim Stone, who stepped down upon completion of the pending affiliation after 24 years of service.

Founded in 1916, Decatur Memorial Hospital has more than 2,300 employees and 300 medical staff. The 300-bed hospital is the third largest employer in Decatur and Macon County. Memorial Health System has nearly 7,100 staff members and 900 partnering physicians.

“Both Memorial Health System and Decatur Memorial Hospital have a century-long track record of living out their missions to improve the health of the people and communities they serve,” Ed Curtis, president and CEO of Memorial Health System, said. “With the addition of Decatur Memorial Hospital, we are able to do more for our region.”

The boards of both nonprofit health care organizations reached an affiliation agreement in late April, pending regulatory approval.

As a Memorial Health System affiliate, Decatur Memorial will maintain local governance and leadership with day-to-day operations managed by the Decatur Memorial executive team. Decatur Memorial Hospital also will maintain a local community board of directors, similar to the other Memorial Health System affiliate hospitals and will have directors serving on the health system board.

The Springfield-based health system includes Memorial Medical Center of Springfield, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital of Lincoln, Passavant Area Hospital of Jacksonville, Taylorville Memorial Hospital, Memorial Home Services, Memorial Physician Services and Memorial Behavioral Health.

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