Intermountain Healthcare and SCL Health, two nonprofit healthcare organizations, have signed a Letter of Intent to merge and create a health system that provides healthcare to more patients and communities in Montana, including St. Vincent Healthcare and Holy Rosary Healthcare, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Kansas.
Upon completion of the merger, the combined system will employ more than 58,000 caregivers and operate 33 hospitals. It will run 385 clinics across six states and provide health insurance to about one million people. Intermountain and SCL Health currently offer services in adjacent areas with no geographic overlap, the organizations said in a press release.
“We’re excited to merge with SCL Health to usher in a new frontier for the health of communities throughout the Intermountain West and beyond,” said Marc Harrison, MD, president and CEO of Intermountain. “American healthcare needs to accelerate the evolution toward population health and value, and this merger will swiftly advance that cause across a broader geography. We’ll bring together the best practices of both organizations to do even more to enhance clinical excellence, transform the patient experience, and support healthy lives.”
“SCL Health and Intermountain are pursuing our merger from positions of strength,” said Lydia Jumonville, president and CEO of SCL Health. “We are two individually strong health systems that are seeking to increase care quality, accessibility, and affordability. We will advance our missions and better serve the entire region together.”
Both leaders reiterated that it is an extremely busy time for everyone in healthcare, especially given the resurgence of COVID-19. As the merger moves forward, the organizations will continue to focus on caregiver and patient well-being as a top priority.
“St. Vincent remains deeply committed to our mission of bringing the best patient care to the people of Montana and Wyoming,” said Michael Skehan, Interim President of St. Vincent Healthcare. “Our partnership with Intermountain Healthcare began over five years ago through the development of our pediatric specialty and surgical programs, which continues to bring expert specialists and surgeons to our patients right here at St. Vincent. The merging of our two organizations is an opportunity for us to further our mission. We will have greater access to more resources and specialties for our local communities while preserving our catholic identity and maintaining our legacy.”
Under the Letter of Intent, while the organization will be named Intermountain Healthcare, SCL Health’s Catholic hospitals will retain their distinctive Catholic names and continue to operate according to existing practices. In addition to seven Catholic hospitals, SCL Health operates one secular hospital in the Front Range.
The merged health system will be headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a regional office in Broomfield, Colorado. Dr. Marc Harrison of Intermountain will serve as the president and CEO of the merged organization. Lydia Jumonville of SCL Health will remain in her current role during a two-year integration and serve as a board member on a new combined board to ensure the integration of the two organizations. The newly integrated Board of Trustees and leadership team will be selected from both systems.
The intention is that a definitive agreement will be finalized and signed by the end of 2021. The merger of the two companies is expected to close in early 2022, pending all approvals.