Ascension Health will create 500 new jobs

Ascension Health, the country's largest Roman Catholic hospital system, will open a new service center in Indianapolis, creating 500 new jobs by 2013, according to a press release issued jointly by Ascension Health and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

The new office will house the Ascension Health Ministry Service Center, which will support the St. Louis-based hospital system's 70 acute-care hospitals and 400 related facilities across 20 states. The creation of the new center is a key part of a large change under way within Ascension Health to standardize and synchronize system, processes and data, Robert Henkel, the system's president and healthcare operations and COO, said in the statement.

The new service center will be "a pretty massive transformation to change the way" Ascension's 29 regional hospital groups operate, Lee Coulter, an Ascension senior vice president in St. Louis who will head the Indianapolis center, told the Indianapolis Star. It will integrate finance, human resources, purchasing and accounting functions of all Ascension hospitals and should save the system millions of dollars, he said.

Ascension Health will invest about $10.9 million into the service center. The system is finalizing a lease on an office building in Indianapolis that will house the center, which will begin hiring in a few months, and is scheduled to become fully operational by the summer of 2011.

Indianapolis beat out Nashville, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala., in the competition for Ascension. To lure Ascension Health to Indiana, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered the system up to $5 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $90,000 in training grants based on the company's plans to create jobs. The city of Indianapolis and Develop Indy, a group that promotes economic development in Indianapolis, also offered infrastructure support and a training grant worth up to $300,000.

To learn more:
- read the Ascension Health/Indiana Economic Development Corporation press release
- here's the Associated Press story
- read the Indianapolis Star article

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