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Joseph Swedish, president CEO Trinity
Swedish

Trinity Health, Catholic Health East plan to merge


By Ashok Selvam
Posted: October 17, 2012 - 11:30 am ET
Tags:

Trinity Health and Catholic Health East today announced plans to consolidate operations, which together span 21 states and include more than 70 hospitals.

The parties expect to finalize the deal by the spring and financial terms weren't disclosed in a news release (PDF). Joseph Swedish, president and CEO of Novi, Mich.-based Trinity would become the president and CEO of the new and unnamed organization. Judith Persichilli, president and CEO of Newtown Square, Pa.-based CHE, would serve as the new organization's executive vice president.

“To serve people best in today's healthcare environment, health systems must have ready access to resources and ideas across the broad spectrum of care, and this consolidation would help us achieve that goal with an exceptional national network,” Swedish said in the release. “We are excited about the benefits our combined organizations will bring to people and communities nationwide.”

Combined, the new system would generate annual operating revenue of about $13.3 billion, with $9 billion coming from Trinity and $4.3 billion from CHE, according to the release. There's no overlap, as the systems don't have hospitals in the same states. While Trinity has one hospital in Maryland and a handful in the West, the remainder are in the Midwest; all CHE hospitals are in the Eastern time zone.

Trinity owns 36 hospitals and manages 14 hospitals in 10 states. CHE owns 23 hospitals in nine states.

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Judith Persichilli, president and CEO of CHE
Persichilli
The transaction also includes 89 continuing-care facilities and more than 87,000 employees total. The new organization will be close in size to the nation's largest not-for-profit system, St. Louis-based Ascension Health, which consists of 79 hospitals. CHE has plans to sell 168-bed Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine, as it has signed a letter of intent to sell to Boston-based, for-profit Steward Health Care System.

Earlier this year, Trinity bolstered its presence in Chicago, by finalizing its deal to purchase Mercy Health System.

“By bringing Catholic Health East and Trinity Health together, we will enhance our ability to create innovative models of care and advance clinical quality across the continuum,” Persichilli said in the release. “This is a wonderful opportunity for both ministries to build upon our common mission, and enhance our collective ability to be a transforming, healing presence in the communities we are privileged to serve.”

A Trinity spokeswoman said talks began in the summer, as they sprouted from conversations between Swedish and Persichilli about healthcare reform. Trinity and CHE haven't determined where the new company would be based, she added.


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