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Jefferson Health & Lehigh Health Network Merge to Create Top Non-Profit Health System in US

Written by : Arti Ghargi

May 16, 2024

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Image Source: Jefferson Health press release

Under the terms of the agreement, Jefferson and LVHN will integrate clinical care, operations, and identity to create a regional system

In a significant move within the healthcare sector, Jefferson and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) have finalized a definitive agreement to merge on Wednesday.

The merger aims to establish an integrated academic healthcare delivery system that will rank among the top 15 not-for-profit health systems in the United States.

This collaboration also includes a national research university and an expanded not-for-profit health plan, the statement issued by Jefferson Health said.

Expected to be completed later this summer pending final reviews and execution of closing conditions, the merger signifies a pivotal step towards enhancing access to high-quality and affordable care, clinical research, and health plan offerings.

The unified system seeks to address health inequities prevalent in urban and rural communities across Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey.

Rationale Behind the Merger

Under the terms of the agreement, Jefferson and LVHN will integrate clinical care, operations, and identity to create a regional system dedicated to delivering top-tier care to their communities.

Expressing thoughts, Joseph G Cacchione, MD, CEO of Jefferson, said, “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.”

Upon closing, the integrated system will oversee 30 hospitals and more than 700 sites of care, supported by over 65,000 employed faculty, clinicians, and staff.

This integration is poised to offer new educational opportunities for clinicians and bolster recruitment initiatives. Moreover, it will expand health plan access, particularly benefiting vulnerable and at-risk populations.

Brian A Nester, DO, MBA, president, and CEO of Lehigh Valley Health Network, echoed Cacchione’s sentiment, emphasizing the shared commitment to improving community health.

“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,” he said.

Organizational Rejig Post Merger

Per the statement, both organizations have historically prioritized community health and well-being. Under the merged entity, their investment in population health management and quality-focused care services is expected to get a boost.

Following the completion of the merger, Cacchione will continue to serve as the CEO of the Jefferson enterprise, while Nester will take on the role of executive VP/COO of the Jefferson enterprise and president of the legacy Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Dr Baligh R Yehia will serve as executiveVP/CTO of the Jefferson enterprise and president of the legacy Jefferson Health.

The newly integrated Board of Trustees and leadership team will comprise members from both systems, ensuring a collaborative approach to governance, the statement said.

Until the merger closes, Jefferson and LVHN will operate as independent entities.


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