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Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - South Jersey Healthcare and Underwood-Memorial Hospital Finalize Merger Agreement

VINELAND, NJ (November 1, 2012) — South Jersey Health System, Inc., the parent of the South Jersey Healthcare (SJH) organization, and Underwood-Memorial Health Systems, Inc., the parent of Underwood-Memorial Hospital (UMH) and its affiliated organizations, announced today that they have signed the final merger agreement that will officially join these two organizations and enable them to continue providing high quality health services to all local community members.

“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. “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.”

SJH and UMH began merger discussions last May to address how the health systems could work together to remain strong and provide the best possible care in the region. By incorporating best practices from each organization, both entities will work toward facilitating a system-wide standard of care that can more efficiently and effectively provide patient-focused health care.
 
“We are particularly anxious to begin exploring ways to enhance a number of our clinical service lines, including: Cardiovascular, Oncology, Women’s Health, Surgery and Neurosciences,” said Eileen Cardile, UMH president and CEO. “By learning from the best practices of both SJH and UMH, we will develop processes that foster excellence across our new network. 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.”

The merger provides both SJH and UMH with several growth opportunities. In addition to enhancing key service lines, growth opportunities will include the ability to:

  • develop outpatient care sites in an expanded service area;
  • build stronger relationships with government agencies with respect to public funding initiatives and public policy affecting health care services in our region;
  • give patients access to an expanded local network of providers offering high quality care in a cost effective manner; and
  • provide more seamless, efficient and effective care over a broader region through the development of combined quality and safety efforts, financial performance and staff development.

As outlined in the agreement, representatives from both the SJHS and UMHS Boards of Trustees will hold seats on a newly formed system board. The organizations will also retain individual Boards of Trustees that will provide leadership for their hospitals.

About South Jersey Healthcare
South Jersey Healthcare is a charitable nonprofit health care organization that has served the citizens of southern New Jersey for more than 18 years, but traces its roots to 1898 when the original Bridgeton Hospital was founded. As it has grown during the last two decades, SJH has become one of the region’s premier health care systems with more than 3,500 employees and a Medical Staff of more than 600 physicians. It includes the SJH Regional Medical Center, a 262-bed facility in Vineland; SJH Elmer Hospital, a 96-bed hospital in Elmer; the SJH Bridgeton Health Center that houses 65 mental health and inpatient hospice beds as well as several outpatient services; and numerous outpatient sites throughout Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester and Atlantic counties.

SJH has a strong history of growth and in the last 20 years consolidated four community hospitals in Cumberland and Salem counties into a strong health system. The system is committed to providing exceptional care, introducing the latest technologies and expanding our facilities to meet the needs of our communities. By focusing on growth and clinical and service excellence, SJHS has positioned itself as one of the most financially strong health systems in the state.

Its recent expansions include a comprehensive cancer center and neonatal intensive care unit at the Regional Medical Center in Vineland, a newly renovated ER at Elmer Hospital, and SJHS Tomlin Station Park, an outpatient center in Mullica Hill. SJHS is also now a teaching institution that recently welcomed medical residents in seven disciplines, with several other programs opening in the near future.

About Underwood-Memorial Hospital
Underwood-Memorial Hospital is a 305-bed, not-for-profit acute care hospital located in Woodbury, NJ. UMHS was incorporated in 1966, following the merger of independent facilities–Underwood Hospital, founded in 1915, and Memorial Hospital, founded in 1919.

The hospital’s size and services have steadily and purposefully expanded to establish UMHS as the healthcare market leader to more than 250,000 Gloucester County residents. With nearly 1,700 full and part-time employees and a medical staff of more than 450, Underwood serves the community’s spectrum of healthcare needs—primary care, emergent, and specialty services. 

The Family Health Centers are conveniently located in Glassboro, Mullica Hill, Paulsboro, and Mullica Hill.  Two years ago, the hospital launched the Women’s Health Center in Mullica Hill and completed a major expansion to the Emergency Department, which cared for close to 60,000 patients in 2011. For over 20 years, the UMHS Mobile Intensive Care Units have provided advanced life support to the residents of Gloucester, Cumberland, and Salem counties.

In 2009, Underwood’s cardiac catheterization lab and cardiologists were approved to be one of the region’s only sources of percutaneous coronary intervention, the accelerated treatment for heart attack patients. In 2010, the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services designated Underwood as a primary stroke center.

To view Underwood-Memorial Hospital's web site, click here.