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New Jersey health systems get state approval to merge

Two New Jersey health systems — Saint Peter's Healthcare System and RWJBarnabas Health — received approval from state regulators to merge. 

Under the deal, the organizations would merge and create a "premier academic medical center" in New Brunswick, N.J., according to a May 16 news release. 

The organizations inked a definitive agreement to merge in September 2020, less than a year after signing a letter of intent to explore a partnership. 

Saint Peter's, based in New Brunswick, has a 478-bed teaching hospital and children's hospital. RWJBarnabas Health, based in West Orange, includes 11 acute care hospitals, three children's hospitals and several other sites of care.

Although New Jersey regulators gave the deal a green light, it still needs approval from the Federal Trade Commission. 

"State approval now puts us on the cusp of being able to create New Jersey's first multicampus premier academic medical center that will draw top talent, increased research funding and more opportunities for groundbreaking clinical trials while also enhancing specialized services and improving overall patient care," Saint Peter's Healthcare System President and CEO Leslie Hirsch said in the release. 

"This is a tremendous milestone in a yearslong journey towards fulfilling our shared vision to bring transformative care to New Jersey," RWJBarnabas Health CEO Barry Ostrowsky said in the release. 

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