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LVHN Planning Merge With Jefferson Health Network | WDIY Local News

Lehigh Valley Health Network

Lehigh Valley Health Network announced Tuesday its signing of a non-binding letter expressing their intent to combine with Jefferson Health Network, a hospital system located in the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey region.

A press release shared their goal of creating a leading integrated care delivery system, which would include a national research university and an expanded not-for-profit health plan.

The two networks have previously had positive impacts in their respective communities. Together, they hope to increase access to cutting-edge services and care. Their goal is to increase access to high-quality and affordable care, improve clinical research and health plan offerings, and address health inequities for urban and rural communities in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

Once the deal is closed, the new system would be home to 30 hospitals, 700 outpatient care sites, and 62,000 employees.

Many have voiced their opinions and concerns with the merger – some worry what this will mean for patient care and job security.

State Representative Mike Schlossberg highlighted that Lehigh Valley Hospital is the largest employer in Lehigh County. He hopes the combination will open the region up to more world-class doctors and care. Still, he expressed his concern that a high commitment to underserved populations in the area be carried through the conversation.

Both he and State Representative Peter Schweyer of Lehigh County promised to continue communication with LVHN to ensure continued quality care and job security. Representative Schweyer stated that if the merge is done correctly, that quality care will remain, jobs will not be lost, and the communities will see economic development.

The deal is expected to be completed in 2024. Both networks will continue to operate separately until that point.

James is the News and Public Affairs Director for WDIY. He reports on stories in the Lehigh Valley and across the state which impact the region, along with managing WDIY's volunteers who help create the station's diverse line-up of public affairs programs.
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