Carrier Clinic, Hackensack Meridian wrap up merger, effective Jan. 1

The merger between Carrier Clinic and Hackensack Meridian Health is finalized and the two will officially tie the knot on New Year’s Day, ROI-NJ has learned.

One of the largest behavioral health networks and the largest health system in the state began talks of partnering in March this year, with a decision to merge in August.

Carrier Clinic is a well-known behavioral health brand in the region and is increasingly important as mental health comes to the forefront amid the opioid epidemic in the state.

In March, HMH co-CEO Robert Garrett told ROI-NJ that Carrier was a good fit for the health system.

“We think partnering with Carrier Clinic makes great sense because behavioral health now, not just in New Jersey, but across the country, is fragmented at best,” Garrett said. “The geography makes good sense. Many of our partnerships have been through contiguous geography. They are close enough to do exciting things together.”

One of those exciting things will be a behavioral health urgent care location in Neptune, according to a source with direct knowledge of the plan but who is unauthorized to speak publicly.

Carrier Clinic CEO Don Parker previously said the merger would impact the relationships the organization has with other hospitals.

“We’ve been Switzerland for a long time,” he said. “Our market share comes from every hospital in the state.”

Parker’s role will also be merged into HMH, and he will become one of three care transformation leaders.