Baptist Health System of East Tennessee and St. Marys Health System, both based in Knoxville, said that they have signed a definitive agreement to merge their systems under a new, still-to-be-named umbrella organization. Six months after the deal is completed, the umbrella organization will develop a strategic plan for fully merging the operations of the two systems and provide a capital spending plan. Each of the eight hospitals in the new system will keep its current name. Baptist and St. Marys said that they expect to receive regulatory approval in time to complete the merger effective Jan. 1, 2008.
The new organizations board will include 18 directors in total, drawn from the systems current boards. Debra London, president and chief executive officer of St. Marys, will be chief executive officer of the umbrella organization, said Craig Griffith, a St. Marys spokesman. Janice James, acting CEO at Baptist and a principal with Wellspring Partners, will stay on during a transition period, Griffith said. -- by Vince Galloro
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