Wednesday, July 12, 2017

By Cat Keniston

Two Southland hospitals—St. Vincent Medical Center and St. Francis Medical Center—have been acquired by NantWorks, a group of companies run by biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, it was announced Wednesday.

NantWorks acquired a controlling stake in Integrity Healthcare, which took over management of the medical centers and four other California hospitals from the nonprofit Daughters of Charity Health System in 2015. The hospital chain goes by the name Verity Health.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Nothing is more critical than ensuring that hospitals have the ability to treat patients with the utmost care and state of the art science," Soon- Shiong, a former UCLA transplant surgeon, said in a statement. "Our commitment is to enhance the scope and resources of Verity Health so that, together, we can deliver the breakthrough treatments and cures that save lives, provide better patient outcomes and improve well-being."

Soon-Shiong said he plans to bring new and improved services to the hospitals, including expanded oncology, transplant, orthopedic and cardiology services.

St. Vincent, located near MacArthur Park, is the oldest hospital in Los Angeles. Located in Lynwood, St. Francis opened a trauma center in January to provide free services for victims of violent crime and families of homicide victims.

Soon-Shiong previously provided a $100 million guarantee to help underwrite the reopening of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in South L.A., which replaced the closed King/Drew Medical Center. He also owns a small stake in the Los Angeles Lakers and is the second-largest shareholder in the Los Angeles Times' parent company, Tronc Inc.

"Verity and NantWorks said they are committed to working together to ensure that every man, woman and child finds the right care and the right treatment at the right time, with a focus on results," said Jack Krouskup, chairman of the independent Verity Health System Board of Directors. "We look forward to partnering with NantWorks to further empower our hospitals and strengthen our Medical Foundation to deliver better outcomes for patients today and tomorrow."