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13 OF 20 MEMBERS RESIGN FROM BOARD OF HOLY CROSS

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Disagreements over money from the impending sale of a Catholic hospital system in Utah have prompted the resignations of 13 of the 20 members of the board of Holy Cross Health Services of Utah.

HealthTrust Inc. of Nashville, Tenn., is acquiring three hospitals and 10 clinics owned by Holy Cross Health System, the parent group of Holy Cross Health Services of Utah. The deal was approved by the Federal Trade Commission with the understanding that HealthTrust would divest itself of Holy Cross Hospital and some of the clinics within six months.Hospitals that the for-profit HealthTrust will keep are St. Benedict's in Ogden and Holy Cross Jordan Valley, West Jordan.

Board members had been "engaged in dialogue" with the Holy Cross system about distribution of profits from the sale, according to Amy Smessaert, spokeswoman for Holy Cross Health System Corp., based in South Bend, Ind. The disagreement centered on a question of how much money would remain in Utah to finance charity work.

With the resignations, the board will be reorganized, said Smessaert.

She added that the Sisters of the Holy Cross, the religious order that owns the hospitals, envisions setting up a new service called Holy Cross Ministries "to respond to unmet community need" in Utah. The group will work with Catholic Community Services, an agency of the Salt Lake diocese.

Priority for their help will be given to women, children and the elderly. "Programs will encompass education, health and social services," she said.

"Significant funds will remain in Utah to facilitate the continuation of the Holy Cross and Benedictine ministries in the community."

But the order isn't saying yet how much that will be. Until a plan is formed to dissolve Holy Cross Health Services of Utah, "any statement about distribution of funds would be premature."