Underwood, South Jersey Healthcare Finalize Merger
The two hospital systems sign off on a final agreement to combine into one organization.
A merger nearly a year in the making was completed Thursday, as South Jersey Health System Inc., the parent company of South Jersey Healthcare (SJH), and Underwood-Memorial Health Systems, Inc., the parent company of Underwood-Memorial Hospital (UMH), signed off on a final agreement to combine the two organizations.
Executives from both SJH and UMH touted it as a means to improve healthcare for patients across Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland counties.
“Since signing our definitive merger agreement at the beginning of this year, SJH and UMH have focused on how merging our two organizations would improve the health and well-being of our communities,” said Chet Kaletkowski, SJH president and CEO, in a statement. “We are very excited about the merger and confident that uniting as one health system will enable us to enhance the quality, accessibility and convenience of health care for the families of southern New Jersey.”
The merger means a chance to work to capitalize on the individual strengths of both organizations, officials said, with enhancements planned for everything from cardiovascular care to women's health to neuroscience.
“By learning from the best practices of both SJH and UMH, we will develop processes that foster excellence across our new network,” Eileen Cardile, UMH president and CEO, said in a statement. “Individually, we have served our communities well. We believe that together we can reach new levels of quality and service—our communities deserve nothing less.”
Hospital officials also said the merger will give patients access to an expanded outpatient care system over a larger area and allow the newly merged healthcare company to build stronger relationships with government agencies, which they said would help with public funding and public health policy affecting the region.
Both members of the UMHS and SJHS boards of trustees will sit on a new system board, and both hospitals will retain individual boards of trustees.
With the merger, patients now have access to facilities across three counties, from the 305-bed Underwood-Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, to the 262-bed SJH Regional Medical Center in Vineland to numerous outpatient facilities.