NorthShore University HealthSystem - Advocate HealthCare merger scrapped: 3 less discussed thoughts

Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care and Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University HealthSystem this week abandoned their plan to merge to form the largest system in Illinois after a federal judge's decision halted the deal.
Throughout this three-plus year struggle with the Federal Trade Commission and Illinois Attorney General, we have had the chance to observe both systems. Here are three quick observations.

1. The merger died after a vigorous battle in the courts after it was challenged by the FTC and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. There is an unexpected victory in the aftermath of this for each Advocate and NorthShore.

2. During a merger or when planning a merger, keeping a system's strategic focus intact is one of the most challenging things to do in business. Here, despite this challenge, both organizations have done a remarkable job keeping their focus on improving their systems in a time of change and flux. This is very hard to do, and real praise is due to the leadership teams of both systems.

3. During a transaction, particularly a three-year one, it is also very difficult to keep great leadership teams and employees together. Both organizations have made a wonderful case study-worth effort to largely keep their leadership and their outstanding employees and labor forces intact. This is no easy feat.

I'm not sure you can say each is stronger for the experience. That stated, you can surely state that each played through and came out the other side of this in solid shape.

Our praise to the leadership teams and employees throughout both systems.

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