The merger between South Jersey Healthcare and Underwood-Memorial is nearly complete, officials with both organizations announced Wednesday.
The merger agreement was OK’d by the state Superior Court, one of the final steps in the process.
That means the two organizations can head toward closing, which hospital officials said would likely take place Nov. 1.
“In the following months, our organizations can begin collaborating to explore new growth opportunities for serving our communities as one of the largest health care providers in the region,” Eileen Cardile, president and CEO of Underwood-Memorial Hospital, and Chet Kaletkowski, president and CEO of South Jersey Healthcare, said in a joint statement Wednesday.
The merger, which was announced in January, has been nearly a yearlong process.
The two organizations have hailed the deal as capitalizing on their combined strengths, spokesman Greg Potter said, from Underwood's cardiac care expertise to the cancer treatment facilities at SJH Regional Medical Center.
The merger also should make the new combined organization better able to recruit top doctors, Potter said.
After the deal is finalized, patients will 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.
And with new economic realities and government health care reform, a combined system should be better equipped to handle challenges in the future, officials for both organizations said.
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