Mercy, Rockford Health System merger finalized

The merged health system's new service area.
The merged health system’s new service area.

Online Staff Report

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the merger between Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System Dec. 16. The move creates a combined multi-regional health system that will provide care in more than 40 northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin communities.

Having completed all necessary regulatory and legal processes, the two systems have finalized the merger, and the new combined health system begins operations Jan. 1, 2015.

The boards of directors of the two organizations approved the creation of the new, yet unnamed, health system Oct. 23. The merger was subject to approval by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board of a Certificate of Exemption, which was granted Dec. 16.

The new combined system operates five hospitals, employs more than 550 physicians, with approximately 7,500 employees and provides outpatient service in more than 80 centers of care. It continues to operate as a not-for-profit organization with a charitable mission to provide excellent health care services close to home.

Mercy Health System President and CEO Javon R. Bea said: “With the necessary regulatory and legal processes complete, we are excited to begin planning our integration strategy. By thoughtfully aligning our organizations, we will create a regional system that honors our existing legacies while strengthening both systems for the future. Our patients will continue to experience the high-quality care they have come to expect from Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System, and as our integration progresses, patients will have access to more services and specialties than ever before.”

Rockford Health System President and CEO Gary E. Kaatz added: “This merger is great news for residents of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. As the founding partners of this new system, Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System will together forge a future that responds to the needs of the communities we serve. This new system is anchored in our region and will provide not only expanded and advanced medical care, but jobs and economic opportunity.”

With the finalization of the merger, the two systems will now actively engage in integration planning to enhance care for the patients and communities they serve. The system will establish its headquarters in Illinois.

Bea leads the new system, which will operate under a newly formed parent company. A nine-member board of directors that includes Bea, four representatives from Rockford Health System and four representatives from Mercy Health System will guide its operation.

Rowland J. McClellan serves as the parent board chairman. Kaatz continues to serve as Rockford Health System president and CEO, reporting to the Rockford Health System Board as well as to Bea as CEO of the parent company. Bea continues to serve as CEO of Mercy Health System.

No changes are being made to the names of the organizations at this time.

The assets of the charitable foundations of the two organizations will remain separate, to be used to support the facilities and operations where the gift was made.

Posted Dec. 16, 2014

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