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Jefferson, Lehigh Valley Health Network sign a definitive agreement to combine

This agreement is a significant milestone in the organizations coming together as a top-tier, nationally leading integrated academic health care system, research university and expanded not-for-profit health plan.

PHILADELPHIA and LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., May 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Jefferson and Lehigh Valley Health Network (“LVHN”) have signed a definitive agreement to combine, creating a leading integrated academic health care delivery system, alongside a national research university and an expanded not-for-profit health plan. The unified system, which would be in the Top 15 not-for-profit health systems in the U.S., will increase access to high-quality and affordable care, clinical research and health plan offerings and address health inequities for urban and rural communities in Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. The deal is expected to be completed later this summer, pending final reviews and execution of closing conditions. Jefferson and LVHN announced in December that they had signed a letter of intent to combine.

Under the terms of the agreement, the systems will integrate clinical care, operations and identity to create a regional system that delivers the highest quality care to those it serves.

“We are delighted to take this next step toward combining with Lehigh Valley Health Network—it is the future, not only for our organizations but also for care in our region,” said Joseph G. Cacchione, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Jefferson. “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, while also building an organization that prioritizes health through value-based care. This combination promotes access, choice, innovation, opportunity, increased equity and stability—for patients, physicians, faculty, staff, students and health plan members and our communities at-large.”

“We could not be more excited about what lies ahead for communities across Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey,” said Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lehigh Valley Health Network. “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. We look forward to continuing the important work of improving the health and well-being of our communities together.”

Jefferson and LVHN have long shared a commitment to community and improving lives. Both organizations have embraced models of care that prioritize the health and well-being of patients, investing in the growing field of population health management and quality-focused care services, which when combined will only accelerate. Upon closing, the integrated system will operate 30 hospitals and more than 700 sites of care, supported by more than 65,000 employed faculty, clinicians and staff. The combined organization will offer new educational opportunities for current clinicians and enable exceptional recruiting opportunities. It will expand health plan access that will help vulnerable, at-risk populations receive care to live well and stay out of the hospital. Lastly, the combination will strengthen financial stability, allowing for investments in innovative technologies and better patient outcomes.

Upon the closing of the transaction, Jefferson’s Cacchione will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Jefferson enterprise. LVHN’s Nester will serve as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of the Jefferson enterprise and President of the legacy Lehigh Valley Health Network, reporting directly to Dr. Cacchione. Dr. Baligh R. Yehia will serve as Executive Vice President/Chief Transformation Officer of the Jefferson enterprise and President of the legacy Jefferson Health, while continuing to report directly to Dr. Cacchione. The newly integrated Board of Trustees and leadership team will be comprised of members from both systems. 

Both Jefferson and LVHN will continue to operate as independent entities until the combination closes. The parties are committed to ensuring the patients and communities they serve continue to have access to exceptional care from their clinicians during completion of this process.

About Jefferson
Nationally ranked, Jefferson, which is principally located in the greater Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey, is reimagining health care and higher education to create unparalleled value. Jefferson is more than 42,000 people strong, dedicated to providing the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients; making our communities healthier and stronger; preparing tomorrow’s professional leaders for 21st-century careers; and creating new knowledge through basic/programmatic, clinical and applied research. Thomas Jefferson University, home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Jefferson College of Nursing, and the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, dates back to 1824 and today comprises 10 colleges and three schools offering 200+ undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 8,300 students. Jefferson Health, nationally ranked as one of the top healthcare systems in the country and the largest provider in the Philadelphia area, serves patients through millions of encounters each year at 17 hospitals and more than 160 outpatient and urgent care locations throughout the region. Jefferson Health Plans is a not-for-profit managed health care organization providing a broad range of health coverage options in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for more than 35 years.  

About Lehigh Valley Health Network
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is a nationally ranked premier health system with 23,000 colleagues and a rich legacy of providing patient-focused high quality care. Based in Allentown, LVHN is a five-time Magnet designated hospital system, serving a dynamic and growing region with the third largest population in the state of Pennsylvania. The health network includes 14 hospital campuses (four in Allentown, two in Bethlehem, one in Easton, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton, two in Pottsville, one in Dickson City, one in Lehighton, one in Macungie) and is home to The Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital. LVHN cares for more than a million community members through its robust network of 29 health centers; more than 300+ primary and specialty care physician practices; 21 ExpressCARE locations, including two Children’s ExpressCAREs which are the only in the area; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. The LVHN Health Institutes deliver cutting-edge specialty care including trauma and burn care for adults and children; kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center; and one of the nation’s leading providers of advanced robotic surgery. LVHN’s academic programs include a regional medical school campus, nursing school, and extensive graduate medical education offerings in more than 35 specialties.

SOURCE Jefferson

Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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