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Aspirus Acquisition of Northern Wisconsin Ascension Hospitals & Clinics Official


Just after a minute after midnight Saturday, Aspirus acquired seven hospitals, 21 physician clinics, air and ground medical transport, and more than 2,700 new employees from Ascension.

The Aspirus expansion was first announced in January.

Aspirus now owns hospitals as far south as Columbia County all the way north to Houghton County in the U.P.

Majority of the new hospitals are in Vilas, Oneida, and Lincoln counties.

“These new resources provide us the strength to improve and expand care we deliver in Northern Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula,” said Matt Heywood, President and CEO of Aspirus Health.

During the announcement, Heywood and others that spoke focused on the struggles of rural healthcare and how this acquisition would help with those issues.

Heywood says it’s harder to hire and retain employees, there needs to be a focus on rural health needs, and collaboration is a must to allocate resources.

“We do not believe a zip code should determine the level and quality of care we deliver and give,” said Heywood.

State Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk) also spoke at the announcement. She believes this acquisition will strengthen healthcare in the region.

“In all of our rural communities, we want to grow and prosper and attract professionals. Whether those are young teachers, young business owners, we need a strong healthcare center, and this is exactly what this is going to provide for us,” said Sen. Felzkowski.

Aspirus Medical Group President Jenny Redman-Schell says people may not notice a lot of changes from the outside other than temporary signs or new name badges.

“In transitioning, patients will continue to experience the same great care from the same familiar people,” said Redman-Schell.

As the transition moves further along, Aspirus plans to get involved in the community with its newly acquired sites.

To avoid confusion, the names of these hospitals and clinics will remain the same for the immediate future, although on site signs will indicate that they have joined Aspirus Health. Ultimately, facility names will be changed to reflect the Aspirus brand. By December 2021 all signs and materials will reflect the new Aspirus facility names.

Transitioning Ascension patients are encouraged to direct any questions or suggestions to their care provider, which will not change as a result of this acquisition. 

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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