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The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes in Fond du Lac signed a letter of intent with St. Louis-based SSM Health system to transfer sponsorship of Fond du Lac-based Agnesian HealthCare, which includes hospitals in Fond du Lac, Ripon and Waupun and 12 regional clinics across Fond du Lac, Dodge and Green Lake counties.

Both SSM Health and the Sisters of St. Agnes are undergoing a due diligence process to integrate the hospitals and affiliate organizations within the SSM Health system. The diligence process is expected to take several months. Financial and other terms of the merger were not disclosed.

The Sisters of St. Agnes established health ministries nearly 120 years ago, but noted that changes in the Wisconsin payer and provider markets as well as the changing demographics of the Congregation were factors in seeking a new owner.

SSM Health already has a significant presence in south central Wisconsin, providing a comprehensive network of hospitals, physicians, clinics and other health services in Dane, Dodge, Rock and Sauk counties.