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Sentara, Cone Health nix merger

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Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare and Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Health have abandoned plans to merge into an $11.5 billion system, the organizations said in a joint statement June 2. 

The health systems said they mutually agreed to end the plans late last week. Leaders said they believe their respective organizations will be better served by remaining independent. 

The two healthcare systems announced plans to combine last August. The deal would have formed an $11.5 billion system with 17 hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina.  

"Sentara Healthcare and Cone Health are high performing, well respected, community-focused organizations. Those similarities served as the basis for efforts toward an affiliation. I am confident that this mutual decision will not alter either organization’s ongoing commitment to meet the needs of our respective communities," Howard Kern, president and CEO of Sentara, said in a prepared statement. "I have no doubt that Cone Health will remain a top tier health system and will continue to pursue new and innovative ways to provide value for North Carolinians for years to come."

"We appreciate the efforts of Sentara to work with Cone Health to determine whether an affiliation of our two high-performing organizations is in the best interest of those we serve. Recently, in the final analysis, we mutually decided that we can best serve our communities by remaining independent organizations," Terry Akin, CEO of Cone Health, said in the news release. 

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