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Hackensack Meridian Health to combine with JFK Health, become largest health system in NJ

Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health revealed plans to combine operations with Edison-based JFK Health Jan. 3. The merger will make Hackensack Meridian the largest health system in New Jersey.

With the merger, Hackensack Meridian will consist of 16 hospitals and more than 160 patient care locations across the state. The combined health system will comprise nearly 33,000 employees and 6,500 staff physicians. Hackensack Meridian Health and JFK Health officials told Becker's Hospital Review during an interview Wednesday no employees will be let go as a result of the merger.

In addition to the merger, officials announced Hackensack Meridian will invest $12 million to expand the cardiac catheterization lab at Edison-based JFK Medical Center, the 498-bed flagship hospital of JFK Health. Officials said they expect to complete the project this year, pending regulatory approval.

Officials from both health systems told Becker's Wednesday the organizations have maintained a 30-year relationship with one another, and those ties played an important role in crafting the merger.

Officials also told Becker's JFK Health will be intimately involved in the development of the medical school Hackensack Meridian will open in conjunction with South Orange, N.J.-based Seton Hall University. Officials expect to open the school and begin recruiting for its inaugural class of students later this year.

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