Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System has asked for access to city-owned Memorial Health System's books, indicating it might enter a bid to lease the hospital system. The nondisclosure agreement was signed Tuesday.
That brings to seven the number of entities interested in running the health system under a lease arrangement being worked out by a City Council task force.
The others are: Centura, which runs the Penrose-St. Francis system; Memorial Health System's current management and board; the University of Colorado Hospital Authority, which is pairing with Poudre Valley Health System in Fort Collins; HCA-Health One; and Banner Health and Community Health Systems.
Deadline for submitting bids is Monday, Nov. 14, after which the task force members will score them and then discuss them at a meeting in early December. Bidders will be invited to present their proposals to the public a town hall meeting to be held in December, says task force chair Jan Martin, City County president pro tem.
The submittal by Sisters of Charity means that two of the seven proposals will come from Catholic-owned hospitals, which operate under rules that bar certain reproductive health procedures and measures.
This was bothersome to Martin, who said at a task force meeting some weeks ago that it troubled her to think the entire city would have only Catholic hospitals as options, excluding hospitals and clinics on military bases.
If you're interested in reviewing the specifics of the "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services" that guides Catholic hospitals, see the pdf here.
Here's one portion of the directives, which essentially state that if a woman gets pregnant from a rape, she won't get help from a Catholic hospital in ending the pregnancy.
Compassionate and understanding care should be given to a person who is the victim of sexual assault. Health care providers should cooperate with law enforcement officials and offer the person psychological and spiritual support as well as accurate medical information. A female who has been raped should be able to defend herself against a potential conception from the sexual assault. If, after appropriate testing, there is no evidence that conception has occurred already, she may be treated with medications that would prevent ovulation, sperm capacitation, or fertilization. It is not permissible, however, to initiate or to recommend treatments that have as their purpose or direct effect the removal, destruction, or interference with the implantation of a fertilized ovum.