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Kennedy Health and Jefferson Health Sign Definitive Agreement

Voorhees-based Kennedy Health System and Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health have entered into a binding definitive agreement that spells out the terms of how Kennedy will integrate with Jefferson Health, the combined clinical entity formed by the merger of Abington and Jefferson in May 2015, and further expanded with the addition of Aria Health in July 2016.

With the definitive agreement in place, Kennedy and Jefferson will take the next steps toward finalizing the integration by filing for all necessary regulatory reviews and approvals. The transaction is expected to be completed following New Jersey’s Community Health Care Assets Protection Act review process.

“The integration of Kennedy into Jefferson strengthens our distinct approach to re-imagining patient care throughout Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, ensuring that high-quality health care is available right in the community,” said Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “Kennedy Health, under Joe Devine’s leadership, is one of the great success stories in New Jersey, best exemplified by their recent A grade from Leapfrog for quality and safety.”

Kennedy Health’s President and CEO Joseph W. Devine said, “Kennedy and Jefferson share a common culture of commitment to our patients, physicians and employees. This transaction will benefit the residents of southern New Jersey by bringing together enhanced clinical services in the communities we serve. As we transform health care across the region, the focus will be on continuing to provide highly personalized, high-quality health care in convenient settings close to home.”

The boards of Kennedy and Jefferson unanimously approved the signing of the definitive agreement, which extends the shared governance model that was established with the integration of Abington, Aria and Jefferson. The agreement provides that Kennedy – like Jefferson, Abington and Aria – will have equal representation on the expanded Jefferson board.

Together, Jefferson and Kennedy will determine the strategic priorities in southern New Jersey moving forward and expect to serve more patients within New Jersey. Plans are for Kennedy’s workforce to remain the same across all locations and its patients will receive enhanced services provided by the same familiar, trusted physicians, nurses and hospital staff.

In addition, the definitive agreement outlines several key commitments to the community.

Kennedy will:

  • Complete construction of a multi-specialty medical office building, an enclosed parking facility and a new hospital patient tower at its Cherry Hill hospital campus.
  • At the Washington Township hospital campus, planning will proceed for a new hospital patient tower and enclosed parking facility.
  • Maintain their academic and clinical affiliation with the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine.
    Joseph W. Devine will remain president and CEO of Kennedy Health, while having a leadership role with Jefferson as an Executive Vice President, focusing on the organization’s growth strategy and service expansion in New Jersey.

The definitive agreement comes after Kennedy and Jefferson signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) in January 2016. The LOI was the culmination of a two-year strategic planning and partnership exploration process at Kennedy.

“We are confident that this is the right decision for our community and our patients,” Devine continued. “Expanding on our existing partnership with Jefferson will allow us to offer patients enhanced, innovative healthcare services to meet our mission—into the future.”

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