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OHSU acquisition of Legacy may be best option but questions remain, nurses say

The planned takeover of Legacy Health by Portland, Ore.-based Oregon Health and Science University may improve transparency and be the best option, the Oregon Nurses Association said.

In a statement issued Aug. 17, around the time of the announced plan, the association, the largest organization representing nurses in the state with over 16,000 members, said the merger of such a public institution with Portland-based Legacy may restore some faith.

"ONA does not have any faith in Legacy's management, so a merger with a public institution like OHSU — which will come with more requirements related to transparency and accountability — is likely to be in the best interests of Legacy's patients and their 13,000 staff members," according to the ONA statement.

But it won't likely be a fix-all, the union added. OHSU and nurses have struggled to come to an agreement on nursing contracts at the same time as the system pledges $1 billion to the merger plan.

"This merger brings up more questions than answers, and ONA is committed to being a thoughtful partner with nurses and health care workers across OHSU and Legacy while the details of this agreement are hammered out," according to the ONA statement.

The transaction, which is expected to close in 2024, includes a commitment to address healthcare inequity through a newly formed independent foundation.

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