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BJC, Saint Luke's move forward with 28-hospital merger

St. Louis-based BJC Healthcare and Kansas City, Mo.-based Saint Luke's Health System — which signed a letter of intent to combine in May — have satisfied all regulatory reviews and reached a definitive agreement to merge. 

The transaction is expected to close Jan. 1, 2024, according to a Nov. 29 news release shared with Becker's. An integrated academic health system will be formed, though the systems will maintain their distinct brands and operate from dual headquarters: BJC in St. Louis, and Saint Luke's in Kansas City. 

Together, the two entities will pool $10 billion in revenue, 28 hospitals and hundreds of clinics and service centers, reaching more than 6 million patients across Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. Richard Liekweg, the CEO of BJC, will helm the new system, while Melinda Estes, MD, the CEO of Saint Luke's, will retire. 

"This is an exciting day for the future of healthcare in the Midwest," Mr. Liekweg said in the news release. "Our thorough due diligence review, in partnership with Saint Luke’s, has affirmed the vital opportunities we have to improve healthcare across the communities we serve. As an integrated health system, we will be unwavering in our commitment to provide extraordinary care to our communities, while creating the region’s premier destination to practice world-class medicine, discover clinical breakthroughs and deliver innovative models of care."

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