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Atrium, Advocate Aurora to merge

Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health plan to merge into a 67-hospital system with upward of $27 billion in revenue and nearly 158,000 employees combined. 

Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium and Advocate Aurora, dually headquartered in Milwaukee and Downers Grove, Ill., announced the plan May 11. The combined system would be headquartered in Charlotte, employ more than 7,600 physicians and have footprints in Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

Atrium President and CEO Eugene Woods and Advocate Aurora President and CEO Jim Skogsbergh will lead the combined health system as co-CEOs for the first 18 months. From then, Mr. Skogsbergh will retire and Mr. Woods will become the sole CEO.

Mr. Woods has led Atrium since 2016. Mr. Skogsbergh co-led Advocate Aurora since its formation in 2018, assuming the sole president and CEO role in 2019. Before that, he led Advocate Health Care as president and CEO since 2002. 

"Gene Woods and Jim Skogsbergh are two of the best CEOs in the country," Becker's Healthcare Publisher Scott Becker said. "This is going to be a magnificent combined system led by two talented leaders." 

The combined organization will transition to a new brand, Advocate Health, with the Advocate Health and Atrium Health brands continuing to be used in their respective local markets. Wake Forest University School of Medicine will be the academic core of the combined entity. 

The Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health boards of directors unanimously approved the agreement, which is subject to regulatory review.

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