Capital Health will take over services of St. Francis on Dec. 21

Systems receive final key approvals for acquisition that will preserve care in greater Trenton

Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center and Trinity Health have obtained key approvals for Capital Health to take over services from St. Francis on Dec. 21 — a date set to ensure there will be no disruption of services to the community, the organizations said.

At that time, St. Francis will no longer operate as an acute care hospital; however, the site will remain the location for an emergency department and several outpatient services. The site will be renamed Capital Health – East Trenton.

The approvals come after regulatory reviews by the New Jersey Department of Health of Certificate of Need applications submitted by Capital Health, and approval by the New Jersey Superior Court of the transaction as part of the Community Health Care Assets Protection Act process, which — as always — included a review by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

Parallel to the review process, 30 integration teams comprised of Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center and Trinity team members have been meeting in preparation and anticipation of the transition to ensure that, if approved, there would be no disruption of services for patients in the Trenton and Mercer County community.

With these approvals, additional transition information regarding services will be shared with neighbors, patients and other stakeholders.

Capital Health CEO Al Maghazehe said the acquisition of St. Francis and the transition of its services is a necessary step for the greater Trenton community.

“St. Francis has done many great things for the Trenton community, but the current health care landscape has made it unsustainable,” he said. “Without these key approvals, Trenton would have lost desperately needed health care services, including emergency services, behavioral health and cardiac surgery. This would be devastating to the residents of Trenton and central New Jersey.”

Maghazehe said the agreement should not be viewed as a typical corporate transaction, with one organization taking over another to make itself stronger in the marketplace.

“Capital Health has taken a significant risk to try and prevent a health care crisis in Trenton,” he said. “We are very appreciative of the diligence with which the New Jersey Department of Health reviewed our Certificate of Need applications, and of the attorney general’s review and Superior Court support for the transaction.

“Capital Health is committed to the city of Trenton, and we will continue to invest in the resources necessary to serve the health care needs of our neighbors and broader community.”

As part of the transaction, Capital Health has committed to the following:

  • Continuing to operate an emergency department in East Trenton without disruption once the transaction is complete;
  • Keeping the emergency department, outpatient internal medicine clinic and C.A.R.E.S program at the current St. Francis Medical Center site for at least the near term, as well as the Schools of Nursing and Radiologic Technology;
  • Developing, long-term, a new emergency department and outpatient site at, or near, the current St. Francis site;
  • Adding an OB/GYN and prenatal care office in the area of St. Francis to meet this important need.

Capital Health Regional Medical Center, also in Trenton, will become the new location for many other services currently provided at St. Francis, including cardiac surgery.

Capital Health is planning extensive capital projects at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. This expansion will help us preserve essential services provided by St. Francis and will meet the needs of current patients from both organizations, as well as future patients.

St. Francis Medical Center CEO Daniel Moen said he is pleased that the important work the hospital has done for many generations will continue.

“St. Francis Medical Center has been a proud member of the Trenton community for almost 150 years,” he said. “We have been dedicated to a mission of providing a healing, transforming presence to our community for that entire time.

“Over the last several years, however, the rapidly changing health care landscape has presented serious financial challenges for our hospital. Transitioning services to Capital Health helps preserve our mission and creates a more comprehensive health care system for the residents of Trenton and Mercer County.

“This acquisition by Capital Health is our best alternative. It combines our high-quality, complementary services to form an integrated health care network that improves access to care for local and regional residents.”

The addition of St. Francis Medical Center to the Capital Health network of health care services will result in an integrated, comprehensive and sustainable nonprofit health care system for communities in the greater Trenton area.

The definitive agreement was reached after a nonbinding letter of intent was signed in the spring of 2021 and a subsequent due diligence period. The due diligence process evaluated how to best enhance capabilities and fulfill the organizations’ shared mission to serve the city of Trenton, surrounding communities and their residents.