Englewood Health, Hackensack Meridian Health announce merger agreement

Hackensack Meridian Health is growing again. On Tuesday afternoon, the health system announced it has signed a definitive agreement to merge with Englewood Health.

Hackensack and Englewood, in a joint statement, said the agreement will allow for more robust collaborations, extending beyond the existing clinical and academic affiliation that was created in 2015.

Following regulatory approval of the merger, Hackensack Meridian Health has committed to a $400 million capital investment at Englewood Health. This investment will further position Englewood Health as a tertiary hub in northern New Jersey with a focus on cardiovascular care, neurosciences, oncology, robotic surgery, women’s health and neonatal intensive care, stroke care, thoracic surgery and an ambulatory care network throughout the region, the two organizations said in a release.

The expanded affiliation with Hackensack Meridian’s medical school also will enable Englewood to become a tertiary academic hub in the region. In addition, Englewood Health will benefit by Hackensack Meridian Health’s partnerships with other institutions, such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Carrier Clinic, New Jersey’s largest behavioral health provider.

A Hackensack Meridian spokesman said the hope is that the merger will be officially complete in six to 12 months.

Hackensack Meridian CEO Bob Garrett said the merger is a win-win.

“We are thrilled Englewood wants to be part of Hackensack Meridian Health,” he said in a statement. “We believe they will be a great addition to our network. We will continue to improve the well-being of communities with more cost-effective care that delivers quality, safe outcomes, clinical excellence and a superior experience.”

Englewood Health CEO Warren Geller said the move was a necessary step in the evolution of health care.

“As a health care system, we need to continuously evolve in order to provide our community with increased access to high-quality care and more specialties and services, close to home,” Geller said in a statement. “This decision is about building the most efficient, most effective health system possible to benefit the communities we serve.

“Over the past decade, there have been significant investments in our facilities and technology from which our patients are benefiting, and we intend to invest in further advancements. Joining Hackensack Meridian Health will ensure our ability to deliver world-class care to the communities we serve in a broader way, with greater resources and more cutting-edge technologies available to us.”

The signed deal follows an extensive review of clinical, regulatory, service and financial issues by the two systems and will undergo regulatory review by the state’s Office of the Attorney General, the New Jersey Department of Health and the Federal Trade Commission before being finalized.