Meridian Health and Hackensack University Health Network announced today a mutual agreement to enter into discussions to merge the health systems that will result in one, integrated health care delivery system to better meet the needs of the communities they serve and enhance the combined entities’ ability to thrive in an increasingly challenging health care environment.
Leadership on both sides agree that this public announcement is the first of many important milestones on what Chairman of Meridian Health Board of Trustees Gordon Litwin, Esq. describes as “an exciting and thoughtful journey to move from a good idea to a great and formal relationship.”
The signing of the memorandum of understanding will now enter a period of due diligence which could take up to four months prior to the signing of a definitive agreement.
“First and foremost, this is about delivering value to the patients we serve, which means the highest quality at the most appropriate cost,” says Robert C. Garrett, president and CEO of Hackensack University Health Network. “Our combined organization would serve a much broader geography, expanding access to services and developing a vast array of new non-hospital services to conveniently serve area communities.”
“Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to providing our counties and surrounding regions with a strong community and patient-focused health care system while becoming a national leader in the transformation of health care delivery,” says John K. Lloyd, president and CEO of Meridian Health. “In addition to achieving financial, clinical and cultural integration, the leadership of our organizations are committed to implementing innovative models of care, advancing education and research, and transforming health care delivery to thrive in the evolving environment.”
Following due diligence and regulatory approval, the newly-formed organization, which would be known as Hackensack Meridian Health, will share a corporate board that would be comprised of an equal number of trustees from each system. The integrated health system would also have co-presidents and 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 Garrett would become president and CEO.
“Hackensack University Health Network and Meridian Health are two highly-respected organizations with rich legacies in medical excellence and consumer preference and irrefutable ties to the communities they serve,” says Chairman of Hackensack University Health Network Board of Trustees Joseph Simunovich. “Guided by strong executive leadership and involved voluntary boards, our health systems share cultural and strategic similarities that make exploring this merger a natural progression of our already collaborative relationship.”