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Plan to merge Jefferson, Lehigh Valley health networks hits milestone


Jefferson and Lehigh Valley health networks have signed a definitive agreement to combine, a key step in a planned merger that was announced late last year.

Initially expected to conclude by the end of 2024, the two entities now say the deal could be done by the end of the summer, pending final reviews and execution of closing conditions.

Jefferson operates Jefferson Bucks Hospital in Falls Township, Rothman Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital at Bensalem, and Jefferson Abington Hospital in Montgomery County. Thirty additional affiliated practices span Bucks County from Bristol to Sellersville. All told, the system employs about 42,000 people in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania and Camden and Gloucester counties in New Jersey.

Lehigh Valley Health Network operates 13 hospital campuses, including four in Allentown, two in Bethlehem and one in Easton and more than 300 primary and specialty care physician practices, including LVPG Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Richland Township and, through a partnership with Grand View Health, the Health Center at Quakertown.

The two entities are operating independently as the process continues. Once it’s complete, Jefferson Chief Executive Officer Joseph G. Cacchione will serve as CEO of the Jefferson enterprise. Lehigh CEO Brian A. Nester will report to Cacchione and serve as the enterprise’s chief operating officer and president of the legacy 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,” Nester said in a statement Wednesday.

In the same statement, Cacchione called the combined entity “the future, not only for our organizations, but also for care in our region” while touting the “access, choice, innovation, opportunity, increased equity and stability” the merger would create.

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