Hackensack University Health Network and Meridian Health announced that they have received final approval to form Hackensack Meridian Health.
This partnership unites the legacy of two health care networks that individually are clinically strong and fiscally healthy. Hackensack Meridian Health brings a full spectrum of care and services across New Jersey.
“Hackensack University Health Network and Meridian Health have a shared vision for the future of health care, which is to provide quality care and exceptional experiences to every patient, every time,” said Gordon N. Litwin, Esq., co-chair, Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees. “Quality, safety and consistency are at the core of what we bring to the people of New Jersey and to those who travel here for our care and services.”
“There has never been a more exciting time in health care. By harnessing the collective knowledge and resources of both Hackensack University Health Network and Meridian Health, we are creating a world class health network,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, co-CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “The physicians and caregivers from Hackensack Meridian Health are among the finest in the nation – streamlining care, putting their hearts and minds into the care they provide, offering patients more options, and discovering and innovating for tomorrow.”
The two health networks first announced their plans to merge in October 2014. The parties received their final approval from the court just today and will begin functioning as one legal entity on July 1, 2016. A steering committee comprised of leaders from both organizations has been meeting for the last year to create and coordinate integration plans in preparation for this announcement.
“Today is a great day for the future of health care in New Jersey,” said Joseph Simunovich, co-chair, Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees. “We will transform and elevate the level of care provided to patients by achieving clinical alignment and offering unsurpassed breadth and depth of services through our extensive continuum of care. We look forward to the endless possibilities ahead for Hackensack Meridian Health.”
John K. Lloyd, FACHE, who will co-lead the organization with Garrett for the first two and a half years, is convinced that the philosophical and cultural synergies between the two organizations will not only accelerate its ability to be successful but will set the standard for other organizations to follow.
“These are two patient-centric and financially strong health networks that uphold their missions and deliver on their promises," says Lloyd. “I’m convinced that with our combined talent and shared vision, we can continue to transform health care delivery through innovation, technology and education.”
In addition to a unique leadership structure, led by co-CEOs Garrett and Lloyd, a Board of Trustees equally represented by both organizations has been created with co-chairs Litwin and Simunovich. Underscoring the importance of humanizing care and services, Hackensack Meridian Health has created an Office of Experience led out of the gate by a newly appointed chief experience officer.
Hackensack Meridian Health combines the excellence and innovation of academic medical centers with the convenience and compassion of community-based care and services. The network consists of 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and nine acute care hospitals, physician practices, more than 120 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers.
Both organizations also train tomorrow’s doctors and allied health professionals, and conduct significant research that results in new ways of preventing and treating disease. High on the list of milestones will be the opening of the only private school of medicine in New Jersey, in conjunction with Seton Hall University, to further punctuate Hackensack Meridian Health’s focus on academic excellence. The partnership will also include nursing and allied health sciences.
New Jersey health systems and hospitals provide some of the best health care in the nation,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett. “Across the country, health care organizations are partnering to increase access to care, reduce costs and improve clinical outcomes. We welcome the new Hackensack Meridian Health merger, which will help ensure that New Jersey hospitals and health systems remain ahead of the curve in comprehensive health care delivery.”
Betsy Ryan, president and CEO of New Jersey Hospital Association, added that “Hospitals nationwide are pursuing new affiliations to ensure they are positioned to continue providing high-quality, efficient health care. New Jersey is fortunate to have strong health care partners, such as Hackensack and Meridian, coming together to deliver excellent care all across the state.”
By combining and sharing resources and identifying efficiencies, Hackensack Meridian Health will provide patients the highest quality care at the most appropriate cost. As a result of this merger, Hackensack Meridian Health will meet the needs of the larger communities it serves and enhance its ability to be innovative in the delivery of care.