Meridian Health and Hackensack University Health Network have signed the definitive agreement for the two health systems to merge and become Hackensack Meridian Health. The agreement follows nearly seven months of due diligence during which time a thorough review of clinical, regulatory, service, and financial issues occurred. The merger still requires state and federal regulatory clearance, which the health systems expect within the next nine to twelve months.
“Hackensack University Health Network is pleased to partner with Meridian Health in this historic merger,” says Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, president and CEO of Hackensack University Health Network. “From the beginning, both organizations knew we wanted to do the right thing for the people of New Jersey. Hackensack Meridian Health will truly elevate the level of healthcare provided throughout much of the region by creating the state’s most comprehensive healthcare system.”
“There are many firsts throughout New Jersey’s history,” says John K. Lloyd, FACHE, president and CEO of Meridian Health. “Today marks the first time that two of the state’s most innovative healthcare systems are joining to transform the delivery of healthcare and better meet the needs of the communities we serve. Together, Hackensack and Meridian will truly be taking care of New Jersey.”
“Today marks a milestone for both Meridian and Hackensack, not to mention the entire state of New Jersey,” says Gordon Litwin, Esq., chairman of Meridian Health Board of Trustees. “From the beginning we knew that we were embarking upon a great relationship that would have tremendous benefits to residents within our service areas and I could not be more pleased with the process that got us here today, which will, in the end, create one of the most comprehensive patient-focused and quality driven healthcare systems in the state.”
“We are pleased to sign this definitive agreement with Meridian Health,” says Joseph Simunovich chairman of the Hackensack University Health Network Board of Trustees. “This period of due diligence has affirmed that our combined organizations will expand access to services and further develop a vast array of new-hospital services to much broader geography.”
Following regulatory approval, the newly formed organization, which will be known as Hackensack Meridian Health, will share a corporate board comprising an equal number of trustees from each system. The integrated health system will also have co-chief executive officers in recognition of the tremendous experience and vision of the existing executives, Robert C. Garrett and John K. Lloyd, for a period of two and a half years after which time Mr. Garrett would become the sole CEO.
The combined entity will have 11 hospitals — Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune; Ocean Medical Center, Brick; Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank; Southern Ocean Medical Center, Manahawkin; Bayshore Community Hospital, Holmdel; Raritan Bay Medical Center, Old Bridge; Raritan Bay Medical Center, Perth Amboy; Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack; HackensackUMC Moutainside, Montclair; HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley, Westwood; and Palisades Medical Center, North Bergen; and, two children’s hospitals – K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune and Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, along with a network of physician practices, ambulatory surgery centers, home care, long-term care and assisted living facilities, ambulance services, fitness and wellness centers, and outpatient centers. The combined entity will employ approximately 25,000 team members and nearly 6,000 physicians on staff.