Meridian Health and Bayshore Community Health Services Approve Merger Agreement

Contact:Michael Valentino

Meridian Health and Bayshore Community Health Services Approve Merger Agreement

The boards of trustees of Meridian Health and Bayshore Community Health Services have approved the terms of a definitive agreement for the Holmdel-based hospital and health system to join the Meridian Health system. The agreement follows nearly seven months of due diligence to review the benefits of such a partnership by examining clinical, service, regulatory, financial, and legal issues. The organizations will now file various regulatory applications, with final closing of the merger expected around the end of the year.

"We are excited to bring together two organizations with long standing traditions of excellent service to our local communities," says John K. Lloyd, FACHE, president, Meridian Health. "Our trustees, physician leaders, and executives have spent many months carefully examining the potential benefits this merger would bring to our community. The future alignment and integration of Bayshore's range of services with Meridian's existing three medical centers, children's hospital, and health services will ensure this community has access to exceptional hospital and health care services now and into the future."

Last December, the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding that began the evaluation and review process toward this definitive agreement and proposed merger.

"Over the past 35 years, we have proudly served the Bayshore region, expanding the range of health care services available in this area," says Raimonda Clark, president and CEO, Bayshore Community Health Services. "This merger will ensure Bayshore's ability to continue advancing its mission and be best positioned for future success."

The merger will utilize the resources of Meridian Health and Bayshore to enhance the level of care and service to the community, decrease costs through shared efficiencies and purchasing opportunities, and provide new academic and research opportunities for physicians, nurses, and clinicians.

"It is important that both organizations are locally-based, charitable, not-for-profit health care providers with common missions and values," says Lloyd. "The full integration of our organizations will require many months of collaboration, and through our shared values and cultures, we expect a positive transition for our physicians, nurses, and teams, that results in a truly outstanding health care provider for all the communities throughout our region."

Meridian Health, which includes Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, is among the state's most comprehensive not-for-profit health care providers, with health care services that include home care and hospice agencies; skilled nursing and subacute care facilities; physician practices; rehabilitation and fitness centers; occupational health services; home medical equipment and in-home safety technology; ambulance and medical transportation services; as well as outpatient laboratory, imaging, and surgery centers.

Meridian Health has been ranked among the state's top performing health systems for quality and was the first health system to receive Magnet designation for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a distinction earned by less than 3% of hospitals nationwide. Meridian Health is also one of the few hospital providers in the nation to receive the prestigious John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality, and has for many years been named as one of the nation's Most Wired and Wireless health systems and one of the "Best Places to Work in New Jersey."

Bayshore Community Health Services has expanded greatly over the past 35 years, increasing the services offered at Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, and offering specialized health care services throughout the neighboring communities in Monmouth and Middlesex counties, including long term care facilities, sleep centers, and fitness centers.

Last month, Meridian Health also signed a definitive agreement with Manahawkin-based Southern Ocean County Health System to join the Meridian system. That final closing of that merger agreement is also expected to be completed by the end of the year.