Atlantic Health System and Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Announce Plans to Seek Partnership

January 31, 2024

Atlantic Health System and Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Announce Plans to Seek Partnership
Systems sign Letter of Intent to bring Saint Peter’s into the Atlantic Health System network of care

MORRISTOWN / NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – January 31, 2024 – In a step to protect and expand access to the highest quality care for patients throughout New Jersey, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System and Atlantic Health System have signed a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) to establish a strategic partnership, putting the institutions on a path toward reaching a Definitive Agreement within the coming months to fully integrate the two organizations. The LOI is a step in a detailed process of evaluating and designing a new relationship that will benefit both organizations and enhance healthcare services.

Under the terms of the LOI, Atlantic Health System would make significant investments in Saint Peter’s and the service area, helping Saint Peter’s to continue to evolve as a high-quality, resourceful, and comprehensive healthcare system serving communities throughout central New Jersey. The two systems would work collaboratively to create significant synergies between the two organizations including transitioning Saint Peter’s onto Atlantic Health System’s electronic medical record system. Additionally, Saint Peter’s would continue to carry on its Catholic mission and abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs).

Both organizations have been in discussions for some time and are aligned with a patient-centric perspective focused on high-quality, cost-effective services to their communities, consistent with their respective missions. Saint Peter’s and Atlantic Health both have a commitment to creating healthier communities by removing barriers to access and addressing social determinants of health. This new venture would also expand upon the systems’ existing relationship in the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, designed to provide broader and more affordable health insurance to employees across New Jersey. Both systems also take great pride in their exceptional workplace cultures that value the contributions of every team member while promoting award-winning innovation and compassionate care.

“For the past several years, Saint Peter’s has engaged in a Discernment Process, with the support of The Most Reverend James F. Checchio, Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen, and Saint Peter’s Board of Governors, to determine the best course for our long-term future. The most critical objective has been to find a path to secure our Catholic mission of serving the community, especially the most vulnerable, as we have done for more than 116 years,” said Leslie D. Hirsch, FACHE, president and CEO of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System. “The hospital industry has substantially transformed over the past 10 years, and we remain the only single-hospital health system in Middlesex County and one of the few remaining in New Jersey. Although Saint Peter’s is stronger today than ever, throughout this journey it has become clear that to assure our future success, we need a strategic partner whose resources, capabilities and values are aligned with our mission. We are very excited about the prospect of becoming a part of Atlantic Health as it has an excellent reputation for being a high-quality healthcare provider and our respective cultures are very well aligned.”

“Today is the first step on an exciting path towards a joining of talents between Saint Peter’s and Atlantic Health System that will benefit the health and well-being of the people of New Jersey,” said Brian Gragnolati, President & Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Health System. “We are thrilled to partner with Saint Peter's to ensure that high quality, affordable and accessible care remains available to all who need it.”

Both organizations will now engage in a due diligence process, working towards a definitive agreement, which will define the specifics of their future relationship. Approvals will be necessary from state and federal officials as well as from the Church before the transaction can be considered complete.

Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Inc., sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, is comprised of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital and a state-designated children’s hospital and regional perinatal center; Saint Peter’s Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital; Saint Peter’s Health and Management Services Corp.; Saint Peter’s Physician Associates, a network of primary and specialty care physician practices; along with outpatient facilities including the CARES Surgicenter, Saint Peter’s Family Health Center, Saint Peter’s Health and Wellness Center, and the Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center. Saint Peter’s is a regional specialist in maternity and women’s health services, cancer care, diabetes, gastroenterology, geriatrics, pediatrics, bariatric surgery and head and neck surgery. Saint Peter’s received its sixth consecutive designation as a Magnet® hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2020 and is the recipient of the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for the adult intensive care unit, neonatal intensive care unit, cardiac progressive care unit and pediatric intensive care unit.

Saint Peter’s is a sponsor of residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and internal medicine, and is a major clinical affiliate of Rutgers Biomedical Health and Sciences.

Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. Powered by a workforce of 20,000 team members and 5,440 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey including 14 counties and 7.5 million people.

The not-for-profit system offers more than 550 sites of care, including its seven hospitals: Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ, Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ, Hackettstown Medical Center in Hackettstown, NJ, Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute in Madison, NJ and through its partnership with CentraState Healthcare System in Freehold, NJ.

The system includes Atlantic Medical Group, part of a physician enterprise that makes up one of the largest multispecialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,600 physicians and advance practice providers. Joined with Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners they form part of Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network of more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ.

Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs through 24 urgent care centers, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere Virtual Visits. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of six regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability and is a founding member of the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across five health systems in the region.

Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University and is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers and is the official health care partner of the New York Jets. 

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