Three New Jersey Trinity Health hospitals and their related care sites say they plan to become part of Cooper University Health Care. Lourdes Health System, which includes Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, along with St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, are expected to join Cooper University Health Care.
Cooper University Health Care operates Cooper University Hospital, an academic medical center that is affiliated with Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. That hospital is located about a mile from the 340-bed Our Lady of Lourdes in Camden.
On Aug. 31, Cooper University Health Care and Maxis Health, a Trinity Health organization that is the parent for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center, said they signed a letter of intent for Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center to be acquired by Cooper University Health Care.
Dr. Reginald Blaber, president of Lourdes Health System, said via email, "In the current health care environment in New Jersey, continuing success for Lourdes and St. Francis depends on being part of a growing regional network with a strong presence in local communities."
George E. Norcross III, Cooper University Health Care's Board of Trustees chair, said in a statement that the combined entity (Cooper University Health Care, Cooper Lourdes Health Care, and Cooper St. Francis) will become the largest health system in South New Jersey, and the fourth largest health system in New Jersey, with revenues of nearly $2 billion and more than 12,000 employees, including more than 875 employed physicians. The health system, with its physician offices and hospitals, will serve more than 2.1 million people in Camden, Mercer, Burlington, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland and Atlantic counties, he said.
Maxis, Lourdes Health System and St. Francis said in a statement that they had spoken to several health systems over the past year about joining together. Cooper University Health Care proposed building on strengths of Lourdes and St. Francis, including their well-known cardiology programs, while maintaining the systems' names and mission. All the hospitals are nonprofits, and will remain nonprofits, said Blaber.
Blaber said it is too soon to say if the Catholic hospitals will remain Catholic. "This issue, and many others, will be addressed as we move toward a definitive agreement," he said.
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