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Festival of Trees to continue through new EMC Health, Inc.

POSTED May 10, 2013 11:04 p.m.

As the sale of Emanuel Medical Center to Tenet Healthcare proceeds through the regulatory approval process, the Turlock hospital's faith-based service to the community will continue through two new organizations.

 EMC Health, Inc., a faith-based nonprofit affiliated with the Covenant Church, will be the successor organization to Emanuel Medical Center. The new organization will take care of the hospital's business obligations after the sale to Tenet and assume management of Jessica's House.

Jessica’s House, a grief support center for children and families that Emanuel opened last year, is not part of the Tenet acquisition.

EMC Health, Inc. will also oversee the annual Festival of Trees fundraiser to benefit Hospice of Emanuel and Jessica's House.

Legacy Health Endowment was created as a faith-based foundation — not affiliated with the Covenant Church — to distribute proceeds generated by the sale of Emanuel. The creation of this type of foundation is mandated when a nonprofit hospital, like Emanuel, is sold to a for-profit company, like Tenet.

The current Emanuel Medical Center Board of Directors created both organizations, but after the sale of the hospital, each will have its own board and executive staff, said Emanuel Chief Executive Officer John Sigsbury.

The Board's intention in creating Legacy Health was having a mix of a faith-based background and a broader healthcare outlook, said Sigsbury.

"There's nothing like this here in Turlock. It's pretty exciting," he said.

A similar foundation was created in the San Jose area in 1996 from the sale of three local nonprofit hospitals. The Health Trust funds programs that focus on healthy living and disease prevention, including Meals on Wheels and AIDS services, in the Silicon Valley area.

"The money must be used for the benefit of those communities [served by Emanuel Medical Center]," said Sigsbury.

Sigsbury said a community health needs assessment will likely be done to see where there are gaps in services that need to be filled. He also sees the endowment continuing Emanuel's historic emphasis on senior healthcare services and ministries.

While both organizations have already been created, they will not be fully functioning until the sale of Emanuel to Tenet is finalized. The specific terms of the deal have not been released and the sale is still awaiting approval from the Attorney General's office. Sigsbury said he expects the deal to be finalized sometime this summer.

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