AGNESIAN CEO STEVE Little high-fives Ripon Medical Center (RMC) COO Katherine Vergos after breaking ground September 2012 on the new hospital. Looking on are, from left, RMC board President Joan Karsten and Sister Mary Noel Brown from the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes.                 Ian Stepleton photo
AGNESIAN CEO STEVE Little high-fives Ripon Medical Center (RMC) COO Katherine Vergos after breaking ground September 2012 on the new hospital. Looking on are, from left, RMC board President Joan Karsten and Sister Mary Noel Brown from the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes. Ian Stepleton photo

     Whenever a big company buys a smaller one, the buyer’s public relations folks typically email news releases suggesting the deal’s ultimate winners will be consumers, who will reap the benefits of greater resources and expertise, enjoy being part of a larger market and realize the savings accrued by economies of scale.

     These releases typically are laden with such gooey verbage as “integration,” “symbiosis,” “strategic partnership” and “customer-focused.”

     Often the reality, however, is the buyer is less attuned to its new customers’ needs ...

     So when Ripon-area residents learned seven years ago this month that Fond du Lac-based Agnesian HealthCare planned to buy its independent, 64-year-old hospital, some local hackles were raised. Owned by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, St. Agnes’ overture to the community seemed almost too good to be true: A new hospital! Electronic records! Return of a birthing center! More services! Additional specialties! Local voices on the board of directors! Greater recruitment of physicians! Continued, active foundation! More financial stability!

     Cynics suggested that Ripon’s health care would be delivered out of Fond du Lac, with Ripon at best getting a Band-aid station out of the deal.

     Time has proven Agnesian is an exception to the bigger-is-not-always-better rule, as it has delivered on all of its promises while remaining attuned to Ripon health-care needs, proving a generous benefactor, community partner and valued employer. ... 

                                                       — Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the Dec. 28, 2017 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.