NorthShore, Edward-Elmhurst's 9-hospital merger creates Illinois' 3rd-largest system

NorthShore University HealthSystem and Edward-Elmhurst Health have wrapped up their plans to merge under a nine-hospital parent entity, the organizations announced today.

The Illinois system will temporarily be referring to itself as NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health until a new name and brand are finalized.

With 25,000 employees, 6,000 physicians and an expected first-year total revenue of more than $5 billion, the NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst now takes the mantle of the third-largest health system in the state.

"Our combined organization offers significant promise for our patients, team members and communities,” J.P. Gallagher, president and CEO of NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health, said in a statement. “As we deepen our commitment to community connection and expand regional access to leading-edge, expert care in our patients' back yards, we have the opportunity to create something truly differentiated and transformative.”

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First announced in September, the merger organizes NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst into two regions corresponding with the original systems: the north region, comprised of NorthShore’s former locations, and the south region, served by Edward-Elmhurst.

While former NorthShore President and CEO Gallagher now has the reins of the combined system, former Edward-Elmhurst President and CEO Mary Lou Mastro now holds a position as CEO of NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health’s south region.

"We have so much in common—our values, our cultures and our commitment to our people," Mastro said in a statement. "I am incredibly optimistic that as we bring together two outstanding, award-winning organizations, our future is unlimited and we will be successful."

The joint system said all existing physician and medical groups will be maintained. Patients will continue to receive their current care services “while over time benefiting from improved access to additional specialties and sub-specialties, a larger breadth of services and an improved experience through state-of-the-art solutions, seamlessly connected throughout the system,” the system wrote.

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The new partners also touted the creation of new community investment funds aimed at supporting the health and economies of their local areas.

"A prominent feature of our merger is the creation of new community investment funds,” Gallagher said. “Each organization has committed $100 million to our respective communities. These funds will generate millions of dollars annually to enhance health and well-being, advance health equity and support local economic growth."

Evanston, Illinois-based NorthShore was the larger of the two systems with six hospitals and more than 17,000 team members. The nonprofit posted annual revenues of $3.2 billion.

Edward-Elmhurst was formed in 2013 and ran three hospitals located in the western and southwestern suburbs of Chicago. It had 8,500 employees and annual revenues exceeding $1 billion.