IRON RIVER—The affiliation between NorthStar Health System and Aspirus became official on Monday as NorthStar announced it will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aspirus effective July 1.
A four-year process of research, vetting proposals and eventually picking a new partner culminated with the agreement. Aspirus, which is based in Wausau, has offered to retain all current NorthStar staff members.
“Today’s an extraordinary day for NorthStar, the patients and the community that we serve, our medical staff, as well as our employee family,” said Connie Koutouzos, president and chief executive officer of NorthStar.
“At the center of this is providing the highest quality, best patient care that we can. Our future is bright, and our vision of excellence and quality has been strengthened today by this new partnership with Aspirus.”
NorthStar becomes one of four Upper Peninsula partners of Aspirus, joining Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital (which joined Aspirus in 2007), Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital (2008) and Aspirus Grand View Hospital in Ironwood (2010).
“This is a big deal,” said Mark Tousignant, chairman of the NorthStar Board of Directors. “This is going to assure that we have quality comprehensive health services close to home. I have been a member of this board or its predecessors for 20 years, and my goal has always been to keep this facility open and make sure we can provide, make better and extend services.
“Aspirus is a good partner, and (we’re) in good hands.”