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Atlantic Health System and Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Announce Strategic Partnership

June 25, 2024

Systems reach Definitive Agreement, outlining plans for Saint Peter’s to join Atlantic Health System

MORRISTOWN / NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - June 25, 2024 – Building upon their shared history of collaboration and aligned mission,  vision and values, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System and Atlantic Health System have announced their signing of a Definitive Agreement to expand their strategic partnership. This significant milestone comes from successful collaboration following the signing of a Letter of Intent. Both organizations will continue working toward obtaining the necessary federal, state, and Church  approvals before the transaction can be completed. 

Once the proposed transaction receives the necessary approvals, there will be immediate benefits to patients, physicians, and  caregivers throughout the communities Saint Peter’s serves. Highlights include strengthened integrated clinical services, a robust physician network and substantial capital investments in Saint  Peter’s including a new electronic medical record, infrastructure,  and an expansion of outpatient services. Under the terms of the Definitive Agreement, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System will join Atlantic Health System which will become the sole corporate  member of Saint Peter’s. Saint Peter’s will continue to maintain its Catholic mission and identity and adhere to the Ethical and  religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs) under the ecclesiastical sponsorship of the Most Reverend James F. Checchio, JCD, MBA, Bishop of Metuchen. 

“The signing of the Definitive Agreement is an important milestone in our journey to join Atlantic Health System,” said Saint Peter’s  Healthcare System President and CEO Leslie D. Hirsch. “We are enthusiastic about becoming a part of Atlantic Health with its outstanding reputation for excellence in patient care that aligns well with our culture and mission. This ensures that Saint Peter’s will remain a strong presence in the central New Jersey area serving the community as a Catholic hospital for many decades to come.” 

“Today is the next step in our commitment to more accessible, affordable health care for the people of New Jersey,” said Brian Gragnolati, President & Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Health  System. “We are thrilled to partner with Saint Peter's in delivering high-quality care that builds healthier communities.” 

One of the first steps the two organizations will take together upon completion of the approved transaction will be implementing the Epic electronic health record (EHR) platform across Saint Peter’s  Healthcare System. Epic will improve efficiency and safety in care delivery by providing physicians with a patient’s full and up-to-date medical record. Once implementation is complete, Epic will allow physicians and patients the opportunity to share information throughout the Atlantic Health System network. No matter where a patient receives care, their medical information will seamlessly  travel with them, easily accessible through the MyChart patient portal. 

Saint Peter’s patients will immediately benefit from Atlantic Health System’s years of investment in data analytics capabilities. Based on the clinical experiences from Atlantic Health System’s interactions with more than one million unique individuals annually, these data tools allow caregivers to make more efficient, informed decisions that result in improved outcomes and reduced cost, as evidenced  by the success of Atlantic Health’s accountable care organizations (ACOs). 

Focused on the future success of both organizations, the terms of the Definitive Agreement allow the two organizations to pursue a wide variety of opportunities, including outpatient services and other population health strategies, which will make care more  accessible, affordable, and convenient for residents in the  communities served by Saint Peter’s. 

With this newly expanded partnership come new opportunities for physicians in the Saint Peter’s network. Atlantic Health System will provide Saint Peter’s physicians with the opportunity to participate in Atlantic Health’s affiliated physician group practices and programs, including various quality initiatives, which are already  delivering better healthcare results for patients and proven financial savings. 

The Definitive Agreement is the culmination of months of work between the two organizations and is aligned with a patient-centric perspective focused on high-quality, cost-effective services to their communities, consistent with their respective missions. Saint Peter’s University Hospital and Morristown Medical Center (part of Atlantic Health System) have both earned Magnet® hospital designation six consecutive times from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program® honors healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. Only two percent of the 599 Magnet-designated hospitals throughout the United States, have been accredited six times.

Additionally, Saint Peter’s and Atlantic Health both have a commitment to creating healthier communities by removing barriers to access and addressing social determinants of health. This new venture would also expand upon the systems’ existing relationship in the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, designed to provide broader and more affordable health insurance to employees across New Jersey. Both systems also take great pride in their exceptional workplace cultures that value the contributions of every team member while promoting award-winning innovation and compassionate care.


About Saint Peter's Healthcare System:

Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Inc., sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, is comprised of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital and a state-designated children’s hospital and regional perinatal center; Saint Peter’s Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital; Saint Peter’s Health and Management Services Corp.; Saint Peter’s Physician Associates, a network of primary and specialty care physician practices; along with outpatient facilities including the CARES Surgicenter, Saint Peter’s Family Health Center, Saint Peter’s Health and Wellness Center, and the Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center. Saint Peter’s is a regional specialist in maternity and women’s health services, cancer care, diabetes, gastroenterology, geriatrics, pediatrics, bariatric surgery and head and neck surgery. Saint Peter’s received its sixth consecutive designation as a Magnet® hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2020 and is the recipient of the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for the adult intensive care unit, neonatal intensive care unit, cardiac progressive care unit and pediatric intensive care unit. Saint Peter’s is a sponsor of residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and internal medicine, and is a major clinical affiliate of Rutgers Biomedical Health and Sciences.

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. Powered by a workforce of 20,000 team members and 5,440 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey including 14 counties and 7.5 million people.

The not-for-profit system offers more than 550 sites of care, including its seven hospitals: Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ, Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ, Hackettstown Medical Center in Hackettstown, NJ, Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute in Madison, NJ and through its partnership with CentraState Healthcare System in Freehold, NJ.

The system includes Atlantic Medical Group, part of a physician enterprise that makes up one of the largest multispecialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,700 physicians and advance practice providers. Joined with Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners they form part of Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network of more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ.

Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs through 27 urgent care centers, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere Virtual Visits. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of six regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability, has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University, is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers, and is the official health care partner of the New York Jets.