Largest Kentucky merger to deliver statewide care

Three organizations yesterday announced they are joining forces to create Kentucky's largest healthcare system. University Hospital and the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare, and St. Joseph Health System based in Lexington will create the yet-to-be named network, a process that could take up to 12 months.

Combining the faith-based and academic institutions, the merged network will unite more than 3,000 physicians and 91 locations, including hospitals, clinics, specialty institutions, home health agencies, satellite primary care centers, and physician groups.

"There is so much more we can accomplish together. Most important, we will be increasing access to basic and advanced health services. That will lead to improving the health not only of individual patients, but of entire communities," said Bob Hewett, named the first chair of the system's community board of trustees, according to a joint statement.

The merger promises to provide greater patient access to care, lowered costs for patients, combined resources for research, and improved outcomes, noted hospital officials. Currently, Kentucky ranks as one of the 10 least healthy states in cancer, obesity, heart disease, and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association.

"I'm confident that we're going to build a world-class organization that not only changes lives for people in the commonwealth, but around our country," said Jewish Hospital Board Chair Lou Ann Atlas in a WLKY article.

The merged system says it plans to release their new joint name in a few weeks, although it expects the hospitals will keep their individual names.

To learn more:
- read the joint press release
- check out a video of the announcement on The Courier Journal
- see the WLKY report