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Advocate, NorthShore merger to create 16-hospital system

Downers Grove-based Advocate Health Care and Evanston-based NorthShore University Health System have unveiled plans to combine and create a 16-hospital system, the largest in Illinois.

The newly created Advocate NorthShore Health Partners would sit as the 11th largest nonprofit health system in the country, and it would employ more than 45,000 and include nearly 4,500 hospital beds.

The deal is not merely an affiliation, but will consolidate the systems' balance sheets, create a single board of directors and demand a unified mission, vision and strategy.

For a designated timeframe, Advocate President and CEO Jim Skogsbergh and NorthShore President and CEO Mark Neaman will serve as "co-CEOs." After two years, Mr. Neaman will step down and leave Mr. Skogsbergh as the primary CEO, according to the Chicago Tribune. Eleven leaders from both systems will make up ANHP's executive team.

Both boards voted unanimously this week to approve the deal, and physicians and employees were told the news Thursday. Mr. Skogsbergh did note the possibility of layoffs due to "a fair amount" of redundancy across the systems. "If we reduce our workforce, it will be (primarily) through normal attrition and turnover," he told the Chicago Tribune.

The merger, which still needs regulatory approval, is expected to close early next year.


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