Wheaton Franciscan Services (WFSI) is the parent company for more than 100 health care, housing, and social service organizations in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Also known as Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, WFSI operates more than 15 hospitals including Affinity Health System, Rush Oak Park Hospital, and United Hospital System. WFSI also includes long-term care centers, home health agencies, and physician offices. Its Franciscan Ministries division provides affordable housing units including assisted-living facilities and low-income dwellings. The not-for-profit health system is sponsored by The Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Many of WFSI's hospitals are operated in partnership with other area providers. For instance, the Affinity Health System in Wisconsin is jointly sponsored by Wheaton Franciscan Sisters and Ministry Health Care, while the Rush Oak Park Hospital in Illinois is operated through a partnership between WFSI and the Rush System for Health.
The health care system occasionally expands its network, both by forming new partnerships and through acquisitions. In 2009 WFSI opened the Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in partnership with a group of independent orthopedic doctors. The new orthopedic center is part of the Franklin Hospital; WFSI completed construction on the new $90 million acute care facility in Franklin, Wisconsin in 2008. The Franklin Hospital provides emergency, surgery, imaging, and primary and specialty care.
The health system also partnered with the YMCA of Milwaukee to try to address chronic health concerns of area residents. The two organizations converted a local YMCA campus into the YMCA Healthy Lifestyle Village, which opened in 2009. The center offers health screenings, health education, outpatient therapy, and fitness services. WFSI and the YMCA have more Healthy Lifestyle Village campuses planned for other locations within their service areas.
In addition, to increase the scope of specialty health care services it can provide to the community, WFSI continues to recruit new physicians and specialists to the Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group. The system is also working to improve communication among its physicians and facilities by adding electronic health record (EHR) systems.
The Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (also known as the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters) founded WSFI in 1983 as a holding company for their ministry operations. The health system traces its roots back to the founding of the St. Mary's Hospital in Racine, Wisconsin, in 1882. – less