Jefferson Health, Lehigh Valley Health Network sign agreement to merge

Once the agreement goes through, the unified system will comprise 30 hospitals and more than 700 sites across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Jefferson Health sign

Jefferson Health will be joining forces with Lehigh Valley Health Network. (6abc)

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Jefferson Health and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) on Wednesday morning signed an agreement to merge, solidifying the unified organization as one the largest health care systems in the country.

Once the marriage is official, the unified system will comprise 30 hospitals in Eastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, more than 700 sites and employ more than 65,000 people — making it the greater Philadelphia region’s largest employer.

“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,” said Dr. Joseph G. Cacchione, Jefferson’s CEO, in a joint press release.

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Cacchione said the merger will promote “access, choice, innovation, opportunity, increased equity and stability” for community members, patients, staff and students.

The deal is expected to wrap up later this summer.

The Philadelphia-based Jefferson and the Allentown-headquartered LVHN first announced a letter of intent to combine in December 2023.

“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,” said Brian A. Nester, president and chief executive officer of LVHN.

Members from both systems will make up the new leadership team and its Board of Trustees. Jefferson and LVHN will operate as independent entities until the deal is finished. Its new name has yet to be announced.

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