Four years after combining under the same corporate umbrella, Barnes Hospital and Jewish Hospital in St. Louis have agreed to merge operations and administration.
The two hospitals sit side by side and are founding members of BJC Health System. BJC operates 15 hospitals, six nursing homes and is affiliated with many other providers in Missouri and Illinois.
Barnes-Jewish Hospital will have a single medical staff composed of Washington University faculty members and community doctors in private practice.
Fred L. Brown, president and chief executive officer of BJC, said the merger will enable Barnes-Jewish and BJC to continue to provide care to indigent and uninsured people.
Alan W. Brass, a BJC officer, will be interim president of the new hospital. John J. Finan Jr., now president of 1,088-bed Barnes, will become BJC's senior executive officer for alternate-site service. He will oversee outpatient care, home care and physician practice management.
Wayne M. Lerner, now president of 358-bed Jewish Hospital, will be considered for the presidency of Barnes-Jewish. The board will conduct a national search for a permanent hospital president.
The new hospital will continue the Jewish and Methodist traditions that founded its two constituent members.
The Barnes-Jewish Hospital board of directors will be co-chaired by William H. Danforth, former chancellor of Washington University, and Leo M. Liberman, former CEO of Laclede Gas Co.
Separately, the parent BJC system board has installed eight physicians as directors, part of a commitment to give doctors a greater stake in the enterprise.
The new directors represent the five BJC hospitals in the metropolitan area as well as community-based physicians. They include doctors in primary care, specialty care and medical education.
BJC CEO Brown said: "Strong physician partnerships are a cornerstone of our strategy to be the region's leading healthcare provider, and physicians have taken leading roles on our strategic planning teams."
The BJC system board had 27 members before this announcement. Because the terms of some directors expired, the total will be 29 after the eight doctors join.
The board makes decisions on system strategic planning, financial planning and investment. It also determines how services will be delivered to patients.