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Catholic Health East announces initial merger deal

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St. Francis Medical Center's parent company announced its intent to merge with Trinity Health.
St. Francis Medical Center's parent company announced its intent to merge with Trinity Health.

The parent company of four New Jersey Catholic hospitals has announced a letter of intent to merge with the 10th-largest hospital system in the nation, Michigan-based Trinity Health.

Catholic Health East owns St. Francis Medical Center, in Trenton, the Lourdes Health System's two hospitals and St. Michael's Medical Center, in Newark.

If a full agreement can be arranged, the combined system would have 82 hospitals in 21 states, as well as 89 continuing care facilities. The system also would own home care and hospice services.

"By bringing Catholic Health East and Trinity Health together, we will enhance our ability to create innovative models of care and advance clinical quality across the continuum," said Judith M. Persichilli, president and CEO of Catholic Health East, in the announcement. "This is a wonderful opportunity for both ministries to build upon our common mission."

Persichilli, who served as CEO of St. Francis for eight years prior to joining CHE's leadership, would be an executive vice president in the new organization, while Trinty CEO Joseph Swedish would head the combined organization.

Catholic Health East, based in Newtown Square, Pa., operates 35 hospitals in 11 states on the East Coast. CHE also operates four long-term acute care hospitals, 26 long-term care facilities, 12 assisted-living facilities, four continuing care retirement communities, eight behavioral and rehabilitation facilities, and 31 home care and hospice agencies.

Trinity operates 47 hospitals in 10 states, in addition to 432 outpatient and 32 long-term care facilities.

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