Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes Explores Healthcare Ministry Transfer to SSM Health

The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) and SSM Health have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to transfer sponsorship of Agnesian HealthCare based in Fond du Lac, WI, and Monroe Clinic based in Monroe, WI. The parties will begin a due diligence process with the goal of integrating the hospitals and affiliate organizations within the SSM Health system. 

As mission-driven organizations, SSM Health and CSA share a commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Catholic healthcare and providing exceptional healthcare services to meet the needs of the patients and communities they serve across Wisconsin.

The decision to pursue a transfer was initiated and guided by CSA, who established the health ministries more than 100 years ago. Changes in the Wisconsin payer and provider markets, combined with the changing demographics of the Congregation, led CSA to consider how to best uphold the legacy of its healthcare ministries and maintain the level of care that patients and communities expect.

“We are incredibly proud of the quality and compassionate healthcare provided through our ministries. Both institutions powerfully bring our values and mission to life,” said Sister Jean Steffes, General Superior of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes. “The time is right for us to focus on the long-term sustainability of Agnesian HealthCare and Monroe Clinic. With their reputation for mission-driven, high-quality and compassionate care, we believe SSM Health is a strong strategic partner to both preserve and advance the organizations.” 

A Catholic, not-for-profit health system, SSM Health is one of the largest integrated delivery systems in the nation, and shares with CSA a heritage of serving the people of Wisconsin for more than 100 years. SSM Health provides exceptional care in 18 counties across south-central Wisconsin through a comprehensive network of hospitals, physician offices, and care centers, as well as a health plan and pharmacy benefit management company.

“CSA’s healthcare ministries, Agnesian HealthCare and Monroe Clinic, are pillars of strength in the community and have a bright and vibrant future,” said Laura Kaiser, President and CEO of SSM Health.  “We are honored that CSA has chosen us to preserve and advance their ministries, and we are excited to begin this journey. Bringing our organizations together would enable us to further expand access to affordable high-quality care in communities throughout Wisconsin, ensuring patients get the care they need, when and where they need it most.”

The diligence process is expected to take several months. The terms of the LOI are not being disclosed. 

“We are able to take this step today knowing that our caregivers and SSM Health share a commitment to providing exceptional care for residents and communities throughout Wisconsin.  It is our hope that they will advance our legacy for years to come,” explained Sr. Steffes. 


About The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes

The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA), founded in 1858, is based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Today, CSA has more than 200 sisters across the United States and Nicaragua who strive to minister with simplicity and hospitality in the fields of education, healthcare, pastoral ministry and social service.

For more than 120 years, Agnesian HealthCare has been a cornerstone within the Fond du Lac region, and it continues its mission to offer high quality services with compassionate care. A total of nine ministries offer a wide array of quality health and wellness services for individuals and families, including Agnesian Pharmacies/Prescription Centers and Agnesian Health Shoppe, Christian Home & Rehabilitation Center, Consultants Laboratory, Fond du Lac Regional Clinic, Ripon Medical Center, St. Agnes Hospital, St. Francis Home, Villa Loretto & Villa Rosa, and Waupun Memorial Hospital.

Monroe Clinic is a not-for-profit, single hospital health system serving communities in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Sponsored by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, the system includes a multi-specialty physician practice with 122 employed providers, 12 clinic locations, a 24-hour emergency department, a home care and hospice agency, retail and urgent care clinics, rural residency and fellowship programs, and primary care sites offering preventive, acute and rehabilitative care.


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About SSM Health

SSM Health ( is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through one of the largest integrated delivery systems in the nation, founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Mary and sponsored by SSM Health Ministries.

In Wisconsin, SSM Health serves an 18-county area in the south-central part of the state through inpatient care at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Madison, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Janesville and SSM Health St. Clare Hospital – Baraboo. SSM Health provides outpatient medical and health services through a network of more than 50 SSM Health Dean Medical Group locations, and serves about 425,000 lives through Dean Health Plan, one of the largest and most diversified HMOs in the Midwest. Also part of SSM Health are two skilled nursing facilities (St. Mary’s Care Center in Madison and St. Clare Meadows Care Center in Baraboo), Home Health United, and Navitus, a pharmacy benefit management services company serving more than 4.5 million people across 34 states.