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Jefferson, Lehigh Valley Health Network ink definitive agreement to merge

Philadelphia-based Jefferson and Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Valley Health Network have signed a definitive agreement to merge into a 30-hospital system with more than 700 care sites. 

The two shared plans to unite in December after signing a non-binding letter of intent.

Under the agreement, Jefferson and LVHN will integrate identity, clinical care and operations. The integrated system will comprise more than 65,000 employees and offer new educational opportunities to existing physicians and allow for recruitment opportunities, according to a joint May 15 news release.

The merger will also expand health plan access and improve financial stability that will allow for more investments and new technologies and improved patient outcomes.

Jefferson CEO Joseph Cacchione, MD, will maintain his existing role upon the transaction closure. LVHN president and CEO Brian Nester, DO, will serve as executive vice president and COO of Jefferson and president of the legacy LVHN. He will report to Dr. Cacchione, according to the release.

Baligh Yehia, MD, will serve as Jefferson's executive vice president and chief transformation officer. Dr. Yehia will also serve as president of the legacy Jefferson health and report to Dr. Cacchione. 

An integrated leadership team and board of trustees will comprise leaders from both health systems.

Jefferson and LVHN will operate as independent parties until the merger, the release said. 

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