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Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health to Merge into One System

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   May 11, 2022

The $27 billion combined system will serve 5.5 million patients across six states.

Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health have announced plans to combine into one health system.

Both organizations' board of directors unanimously approved the agreement, which will be subject to regulatory review.

"The world of healthcare as we know it is changing at warp speed – and it is rapidly becoming more digital, personalized, scientific and complex," Eugene A. Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health, said in a statement. "This strategic combination will enable us to deepen our commitments to health equity, create more jobs and opportunities for our teammates and communities, launch new game-changing innovations, and so much more. Together, we will manifest a new future that significantly elevates the care we provide to every hand we hold and every life we touch."

The combined system, Advocate Health, will operate as a $27.1 billion health and wellness delivery system, and will serve 5.5 million patients in Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. New headquarters will be established in Charlotte, North Carolina, while a new institute for health equity will be established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

While the organization will transition to the new umbrella brand, the Advocate Aurora and Atrium Health brands will continue to operate in their markets as before. Wake Forest University School of Medicine will serve as the organization's academic core.

"Together, we can do more, be better and go faster," Jim Skogsbergh, president and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health, said. "This combination harnesses our complementary strengths and expertise of our doctors, nurses and teammates to lead health care’s transformation for those we are so proud to serve."

The system will operate with 67 hospitals and more than 1,000 ambulatory locations, and will be supported by 148k teammates, 7.6k employed physicians, 18.5k aligned and medical staff physicians, and 41k nurses.

Woods and Skogsbergh will serve as co-CEOs during the health system's first 18 months. Following that time, Skogsbergh plans to retire, and Woods will become the sole CEO.

Advocate Health will operate with a board of directors made up of an equal number of members from Advocate Aurora and Atrium Health. Edward J. Brown III, who currently serves as chair of Atrium Health's board of directors will lead the new board until December 31, 2023. From there, Michele Richardson, chair of Advocate Aurora Health's board of directors, will succeed him and serve for two years.

“This strategic combination will enable us to deepen our commitments to health equity, create more jobs and opportunities for our teammates and communities, launch new game-changing innovations, and so much more.”

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.


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