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Emory Healthcare, Saint Joseph's Hospital Form Partnership

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 14, 2011

Emory Healthcare and Saint Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta have created a joint operating company that will give Emory the controlling stake, but allow the Catholic hospital to keep its religious affiliation and avoid an outright sale.

The financial details of the JOC were not disclosed when the deal was announced Friday. However, the partnership -- expected to be finalized by year's end -- will create the largest health system in Georgia, with campuses in DeKalb County, Johns Creek, Midtown Atlanta and Sandy Springs.  

The two systems stressed that the JOC is a partnership -- not an acquisition -- that was first discussed but dismissed last October. However, the arrangement would give Emory Healthcare a 51/49 majority stake of Saint Joseph's and allow the joint healthcare system to expand services. Saint Joseph's said it will be involved in the governance of the JOC, with "super majority voting rights on certain issues critical to Saint Joseph's mission and values."

Executives at Emory Healthcare and Saint Joseph's -- Atlanta's oldest hospital -- said they see the partnership as "a strategic and transformative opportunity to marry the clinical and cultural strengths of the two organizations," the two systems said in a joint announcement.

"At our cores, both Emory Healthcare and Saint Joseph's Hospital share compatible values and a common purpose: to provide outstanding health care to North Georgia and the state," said John Fox, president/CEO of Emory Healthcare. "Combining the excellence of our physicians, skill and experience of our clinical staffs, and promise of our research capabilities only strengthens what we offer patients."

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