Jefferson, Lehigh Valley Health Sign a Definitive Agreement to Combine

Jefferson and Lehigh Valley Health Network have signed a definitive agreement to combine, creating an integrated academic healthcare delivery system that would increase healthcare access to urban and rural communities in Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. The integrated system, which would be among the Top 15 not-for-profit health systems in the US, will operate 30 hospitals and more than 700 sites of care, supported by more than 65,000 employed faculty, clinicians and staff.

The deal is expected to be completed later this summer, pending final reviews and execution of closing conditions. Jefferson and LVHN announced in December that they had signed a letter of intent to combine.

“We are delighted to take this next step toward combining with Lehigh Valley Health Network—it is the future, not only for our organizations but also for care in our region,” said Joseph G. Cacchione, MD, CEO, Jefferson. “Through our integrated operating model, the combined organization will provide the communities we serve with access to the highest quality care, the benefits of continuous research and innovation, a network of specialists, clinical trials, and so much more, while also building an organization that prioritizes health through value-based care. This combination promotes access, choice, innovation, opportunity, increased equity and stability—for patients, physicians, faculty, staff, students and health plan members and our communities at-large.”

“We could not be more excited about what lies ahead for communities across Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey,” said Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, president and CEO, Lehigh Valley Health Network. “As our collective teams worked these past months, we confirmed what we had believed to be true when we signed our initial letter of intent—Jefferson is the ideal partner for Lehigh Valley Health Network, our teams and our patients. We look forward to continuing the important work of improving the health and well-being of our communities together.”

Upon the closing of the transaction, Jefferson’s Cacchione will continue to serve as CEO of the Jefferson enterprise. LVHN’s Nester will serve as executive vice president/chief operating officer of the Jefferson enterprise and president of the legacy Lehigh Valley Health Network, reporting directly to Dr. Cacchione. Dr. Baligh R. Yehia will serve as executive vice president/chief transformation officer of the Jefferson enterprise and president of the legacy Jefferson Health, while continuing to report directly to Dr. Cacchione. The newly integrated Board of Trustees and leadership team will be comprised of members from both systems.

Both Jefferson and LVHN will continue to operate as independent entities until the combination closes. The parties are committed to ensuring the patients and communities they serve continue to have access to exceptional care from their clinicians during completion of this process.

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