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Mercy Health, Bon Secours Health System announce intent to merge

Mercy Health, a Catholic health ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky, said on Wednesday it intends to merge with Bon Secours Health System, a Catholic health ministry serving residents across the East Coast.

The merger will create one of the largest health systems in the country spanning seven states in the eastern half of the United States.

Mercy Health is the largest health system in Ohio and among the top five employers in the state, with more than 33,500 employees serving communities throughout Ohio and in Kentucky. Bon Secours Health System is a not-for-profit Catholic health system sponsored by Bon Secours Ministries and founded by the Sisters of Bon Secours. It has 24,000 employees in operations in Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida and New York.

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Mercy Health is the seventh-largest employer in Butler County and the second-largest in Fairfield, with 1,738 employees, of which 1,160 work at Mercy-Health Fairfield Hospital.

“Our commitment to providing quality patient care is unwavering,” said Maureen Richmond, a Mercy Health spokeswoman. “For that reason, we do not expect the merger to impact our local facilities. Our number one job is to put our patients first. However, the proposed merger creates future opportunities to deepen our commitment to our existing communities and to expand our shared ministry into complimentary service areas across the United States.”

The two networks serve communities across seven states and include 43 hospitals with more than 1,000 sites of care providing $640 million annually in community benefit.

Together, Mercy Health and Bon Secours rank in the top performing quartile of Catholic health systems for low-cost, high-quality patient care, promoting healthier lives and creating more affordable health care for residents across an expanded footprint.

“As consumers grapple with the implications of Health Care Reform in a dynamic marketplace, Mercy Health and Bon Secours share a vision to improve the health of the communities we serve as the low-cost, high-value provider,” Mercy Health President and CEO John Starcher Jr. said in a press release. “Working together, our strong faith-based heritage fuels our mutual focus to provide efficient and effective health care for each patient who comes through our doors.”

The merger presents a “tremendous opportunity” for Mercy Health and Bon Secours to expand their combined health ministry, which will create new career and development opportunities for employees of both and help position them for growth, Richmond said.

“The efficiencies we will achieve will allow us to reinvest resources back into local communities,” she said. “Both organizations are very committed to the communities they serve.”

The merger creates the fifth-largest Catholic health system in the country, allowing the new entity to leverage economies of scale by integrating resources and teams across the ministries. This merger creates future opportunity to deepen our commitment to our existing communities and expand the health ministry into complementary service areas across United States. Further alignment of the ministries offers an opportunity within the United States and outside of its borders to bring healing and hope to those most in need.

In the coming months, both parties will work together to finalize a definitive merger agreement, obtain applicable approvals and complete plans to merge. While there is no specific date outlined, executives at both Mercy Health and Bon Secours expect to complete the merger by the end of the calendar year.

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