Press Release

For Immediate Release
Oct 16, 2014
Contact : Robert Cavanaugh, Manager of Public Affairs for Meridian Health  

Hackensack University Health Network and Meridian Health Announce Plans to Merge


New Jersey - Meridian Health and Hackensack University Health Network announced today a mutual agreement to enter into discussions to merge the health systems that will result in one, integrated health care delivery system to better meet the needs of the communities we serve and enhance the combined entities’ ability to thrive in an increasingly challenging health care environment.

Leadership on both sides agree that this public announcement is the first of many important milestones on what Chairman of Meridian Health Board of Trustees Gordon Litwin, Esq. describes as “an exciting and thoughtful journey to move from a good idea to a great and formal relationship.”

The signing of the memorandum of understanding will now enter a period of due diligence which could take up to four months prior to the signing of a definitive agreement.

“First and foremost, this is about delivering value to the patients we serve, which means the highest quality at the most appropriate cost,” says Robert C. Garrett, president and CEO of Hackensack University Health Network. “Our combined organization would serve a much broader geography, expanding access to services and developing a vast array of new non-hospital services to conveniently serve area communities.”
“Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to providing our counties and surrounding regions with a strong community and patient-focused health care system while becoming a national leader in the transformation of health care delivery,” says John K. Lloyd, president and CEO of Meridian Health. “In addition to achieving financial, clinical and cultural integration, the leadership of our organizations are committed to implementing innovative models of care, advancing education and research, and transforming health care delivery to thrive in the evolving environment.”

Following due diligence and regulatory approval, the newly-formed organization, which would be known as Hackensack Meridian Health, will share a corporate board that would be comprised of an equal number of trustees from each system. The integrated health system would also have co-presidents and chief executive officers in recognition of the tremendous experience and vision of the existing executives, Robert C. Garrett and John K. Lloyd, for a period of two and a half years after which time Garrett would become president and CEO.

“Hackensack University Health Network and Meridian Health are two highly-respected organizations with rich legacies in medical excellence and consumer preference and irrefutable ties to the communities they serve,” says Chairman of Hackensack University Health Network Board of Trustees Joseph Simunovich. “Guided by strong executive leadership and involved voluntary boards, our health systems share cultural and strategic similarities that make exploring this merger a natural progression of our already collaborative relationship.”

About Hackensack University Health Network
Hackensack University Health Network is the New Jersey-based parent company of HackensackUMC, the HackensackUMC Foundation, Hackensack University Medical Groups, and corporate joint venture partners with LHP Hospital Group (Plano, TX) in ownership of two hospitals: HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley and HackensackUMC Mountainside. In September 2014, HackensackUHN welcomed Palisades Medical Center as a full member of the Network, marked by a formal Letter of Intent signing. Together with six other health systems, the Network is part of the nation’s largest healthcare consortium of its kind, AllSpire Health Partners; with a total of 28 hospitals and service area of more than six million people. HackensackUHN also enjoys clinical and academic affiliations with some of the nation’s most well-renowned health systems, hospitals and universities, including: CentraState Healthcare System, CityMD, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, MinuteClinic, North Shore-LIJ Health System, NYU Langone Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Surgery, Palisades Medical Center, Rutgers Medical School, St. George’s University, and Stevens Institute of Technology. With more than 11,300 employees, 3,100 credentialed medical staff members and 1,697 hospital and nursing home beds at hospitals within the Network, Hackensack University Health Network is one of the largest healthcare systems in New Jersey.

About Meridian Health
Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, fitness and wellness centers, and outpatient centers. In September 2014, Meridian Health and Raritan Bay Medical Center signed a Letter of Intent to merge.  Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in New Jersey for clinical quality, is one of the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” for five consecutive years, and is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions for patient care and nursing excellence. Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium alongside six of the nation’s leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.  With more than 100 convenient locations, over 1,800 beds, nearly 13,000 team members, and affiliations with more than 2,000 of the area’s finest physicians, Meridian Health is a leading health care provider in New Jersey, providing quality health services, facilities, and programs.  For more information, please visit