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Saint Clare's President & CEO Announces Retirement; Updates Community on Transition to New Sponsor


Accomplished Healthcare Executive to Lead Transition to New Sponsor Before Departing January 1, 2008

Gary J. Blan, FACHE, President and CEO of Saint Clare's Health System, has announced his pending retirement, effective with the change of sponsorship of Saint Clare's Health System from Tulsa, OK-based Marian Health System to Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) of Denver, CO.  Blan's retirement as President and CEO will be effective January 1, 2008, marking his seventh anniversary as leader of the Denville, NJ-based health system. Upon his retirement, Blan will have completed a 35-year healthcare management career, with some 27 years as a CEO of a hospital or health system.

"As Saint Clare's experiences a change in national sponsorship, so too, will its leadership. The years I have spent here have been some of the most rewarding for me professionally. In the nearly seven years, I have seen an organization move from a time of financial turmoil to a period of local and regional dominance in community healthcare," explains Blan, who will continue as the health system's chief administrator during the transition to CHI sponsorship. "Saint Clare's has a bright future under the sponsorship of Catholic Health Initiatives and I will leave knowing that the success of Saint Clare's is in the capable hands of its employees, volunteers and medical staff, and under the guidance of one of the nation's leading healthcare organizations. I owe a debt of gratitude to the entire Saint Clare's family who has helped me to structure an organization that meets and exceeds the needs of its community with the compassion and care that has always been a hallmark of its rich heritage."

In March, following an extensive nationwide search, Saint Clare's Health System announced that it had entered into an agreement to become a member organization of CHI. In 19 states, CHI's healthcare ministry is comprised of 71 hospitals, including 20 with the critical access designation; 42 long-term care facilities, assisted-living facilities and residential units; and 2 community-based health organizations. CHI represents approximately 65,000 employees and total revenues of $7.6 billion. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, it is the second largest Catholic health system in the United States, and is operated as an equal religious/lay partnership.

The terms of a final agreement are nearing completion. Extensive, mutual due diligence between Saint Clare's and CHI has recently been completed and nearly all required state, regulatory and Catholic church approvals have been received. Final approval of the agreement is pending in the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General. 

"We have worked hard to find an organization like Catholic Health Initiatives that will help provide a stable, progressive and certain future for Saint Clare's," continues Blan. "We want to ensure that our commitment sustains a strong, faith-based, quality healthcare organization for years to come. Our employees deserve the right to have a stable environment in which to work, a fair and just wage, a competitive benefit and retirement plan, and educational opportunities. This will come through our new sponsorship and our ability to build a stronger Saint Clare's."

Even after his retirement becomes effective, Blan has indicated he will remain active with Saint Clare's Foundation and its Miracles capital campaign effort, in order to ensure that Saint Clare's realizes its $50 million fundraising goal. Miracles: Saint Clare's Vision for the Future was launched in May 2006 with a goal of raising $50 million over the next several years. Phase One of the campaign, with a goal of $30 million, will conclude later this summer. To date, the campaign has raised gifts and pledges of more than $29 million toward that goal. Miracles will support a host of projects and new facilities system-wide, including new emergency departments at the Denville, Dover and Sussex hospitals; a new pediatrics center; a new cancer center; and enhanced behavioral health programs for children and adults.

"The measure of a successful, responsible, and passionate healthcare provider can be found in its pursuit of the most modern services and advanced technology available. The aging population and migration of new residents to our region are producing an increasing demand for top-notch medical services," says Blan. "Miracles supports part of a groundbreaking plan that will literally transform the delivery of healthcare for decades to come. If I walk away from the campaign before its successful completion, it would mean there is unfinished business for an effort that I truly believe in. $50 million is within reach and I fully intend to see the campaign through to its joyous and successful end."

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