Columbia-St. Mary's in Milwaukee, one of 131 Ascension Health hospitals.

NEW YORK CITY—Newmark Grubb Knight Frank has landed what is believed to be one of the largest corporate-services assignments on record, the 65-million-square-foot Ascension Health system. Formed 15 years ago under the aegis of the Catholic Church, it’s the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the US, comprising 131 hospitals across 23 states and the District of Columbia.

“Ascension is moving its real estate holdings to a more unified national organization structure, and chose NGKF in order to achieve efficiency, savings and improved quality of care, as well as to adjust to changes in the healthcare market,” says NKGF CEO Barry M. Gosin. The agreement covers tenant advisory, landlord advisory and disposition, lease administration, portfolio optimization and real estate cost reduction strategies and implementation.

Leading the NGKF team on the Ascension portfolio assignment are Atlanta-based Todd Perman and Newport Beach, CA-based Garth Hogan, both executive managing directors with NGKF’s Global Healthcare Services platform. The announcement was made as part of the second-quarter report from BGC Partners, NGKF’s parent company.

In line with St. Louis-based Ascension’s focus on creating a more unified national structure, Modern Healthcare reported earlier this week that Ascension was creating a senior-care division to integrate its post-acute-care services and establish more uniform care standards. It would make Ascension make the second-largest not-for-profit, long-term-care operator in the country, with more than 5,500 senior-care beds.

“It is essentially a reorganization of our existing senior services and programs that are around the country, typically located in our local ministries,” Robert Henkel, CEO of Ascension, told Modern Healthcare. “What we’re doing is bringing them all together to operate together as a focus on patient-centered care for seniors and take advantage of our best practices, our knowledge and our experience in this particular area on a national scale.”