Tenet Healthcare buying Vanguard Health Systems for about 18B includes 25B in

DALLAS – Tenet Healthcare Corp. plans to buy fellow hospital operator Vanguard Health Systems Inc. for about $1.8 billion, in a deal that will expand its reach into new markets as millions of patients start to gain insurance coverage through the health care overhaul.Tenet said Monday that it will pay $21 per share, a 70 per cent premium to Vanguard Health’s Friday closing price of $12.37. The companies said the transaction also includes $2.5 billion in debt, and they value the entire deal at $4.3 billion.Shares of Vanguard Health soared 67 per cent, or $8.33, to $20.70 Monday morning after the companies announced the deal. The company’s stock price had advanced only about 1 per cent as of last Friday since closing 2012 at $12.25.Tenet investors also liked the deal, pushing the Dallas-based company’s stock up 6.7 per cent, or $2.82, to $44.67. Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 1.5 per cent.The federal health care overhaul is expected to help hospitals by reducing the number of uninsured patients they treat. Starting next year, the overhaul will provide income-based tax credits to help people buy coverage, and the state-and-federally funded Medicaid program will expand its coverage in several states.Tenet said Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanguard will help it expand into several new markets and increase the benefit it expects to realize from the overhaul. Vanguard runs 28 acute care and specialty hospitals in Texas, Massachusetts and major cities like Chicago, Phoenix and Detroit. Its specialty locations include heart, children’s and rehabilitation hospitals.The deal also will bring new business to Tenet’s Conifer Health Solutions segment, which helps hospitals manage revenue and run their business operations.The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close by the end of this year. After that, Tenet will own 79 hospitals and 157 outpatient facilities. It currently has 49 hospitals and 126 outpatient facilities.Tenet expects annual savings and gains of $100 million to $200 million largely from operating more efficiently after the companies combine.Vanguard Health said that its founder, Chairman and CEO Charlie Martin, will join Tenet’s board. Vanguard’s vice chairman, Keith Pitts, will continue in that position at Tenet.Tenet has secured fully committed financing for the transaction from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Tenet Healthcare buying Vanguard Health Systems for about $1.8B; includes $2.5B in debt by The Associated Press Posted Jun 24, 2013 6:29 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Staff students talk mental health at joint forum

Melissa Kuzler shares her story about mental illness at last week’s Mental Health Innovation Forum.It started with incapacitating headaches that would turn Melissa Kuzler’s world upside down.A visit to her family doctor to find out what was wrong would leave her shaken.It was 2009 and Kuzler, who was attending college, was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. It explained the headaches, her feelings of loneliness, and the changes to her eating and sleeping patterns, but it did little else to help her at the time.“I had a hard time accepting the diagnosis. I began to self harm and had thoughts of suicide,” Kuzler told the crowd at last week’s Mental Health Innovation Forum in Pond Inlet.After Kuzler got her diagnosis, she lost her job, left school and “slept so much, hoping to escape the pain I was feeling; hoping I would wake up happy – or not at all.” She tried to take her own life.She existed in a dark place with little support from the people in her life, who offered only platitudes or dismissed how she was feeling. She was fine, or simply being a drama queen, they told her.But somewhere within Kuzler, a feeling persisted. It was hope.Though its appearances would be fleeting during the next few years, the glimmers of it that she saw compelled her to prove she could be successful in spite of her mental health issues. She enrolled at Brock in 2010 and set her sights set on a degree in psychology.After struggling to get through her first year, including attempting suicide for a second time, she worked up the courage to connect with a caseworker at Services for Students with Disabilities, a brave move that proved to be a turning point.“I realized she just genuinely cared about me and wanted to see me succeed. I think this is when I accepted my diagnosis,” Kuzler recalled.There were still moments when she would be overcome and had to push herself out of a deep low. There were still thoughts of suicide, too. Still times when she would self harm.And still thoughts of hope.“I still hoped that I would pass and graduate and succeed,” Kuzler said.She did. Last year, she completed her four-year psychology degree. Today, she works as a teaching assistant and speaks regularly about her depression with the intent of educating people about living with mental health issues and prevailing.Kuzler took a deep breath and paused thoughtfully before launching into her story at Monday’s forum, the final workshop in a two-year joint initiative with Niagara College, Pathstone Mental Health and the Canadian Mental Health Association aimed at addressing mental health challenges faced by post-secondary students.Called More Feet on the Ground, the initiative’s goal is to train faculty, staff and students how to recognize, respond to and refer to treatment those university and college students who are experiencing struggles with mental health. Funding is provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.The approach includes an online training tool that has been used so far by 635 people at Brock, Niagara College and elsewhere.History professor Mike Driedger is one of them. The training has given him greater understanding of the student experience he said.“It’s really important for us as educators because we see a large sea of students in the classroom that we’d like to get to know but can’t,” Driedger explained.But he noted faculty are there to support students and that includes being able to recognize when things are not right, responding accordingly and referring students to help.“When we’re in our complicated role as educators, it’s really helpful to have that straightforward recognize, respond, refer tool to know what to do and if we don’t, our job is made easier by this large network (of people who can help) that keeps growing,” he said.The more who do recognize when someone is struggling, and talk openly and sensitively about it, the better, Kuzler noted.“Contrary to the stigma, mental health (issues) are not a sign of weakness that we should silence,” she said. “Let’s engage in the transformative powers of talk and never stop.” read more