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SCL Health, Intermountain Healthcare announce plans to merge

The combined not-for-profit system will employ more than 58,000 caregivers.

DENVER — Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare and Colorado-based SCL Health have signed a letter of intent to merge, the companies announced Thursday.

The combined not-for-profit system will employ more than 58,000 caregivers and operate 33 hospitals and 385 clinics across six states. 

"The merged organization will create a model health system to provide high-quality, accessible, and affordable healthcare to more patients and communities in Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Kansas," according to a news release.

SCL Health's medical facilities along the Front Range include St. Joseph Hospital, Lutheran Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center, and Platte Valley Medical Center.

Intermountain Healthcare is a secular organization founded in Salt Lake City in 1975, according to President and CEO Dr. Marc Harrison. It currently operates 25 hospitals, one of which is virtual, and 225 clinics. It operates in Utah, Idaho and Nevada.

Founded in 1864 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Broomfield-based SCL Health is a Catholic organization operating in Colorado, Montana and Kansas. It operates eight hospitals and more than 160 clinics, President and CEO Lydia Jumonville said in a virtual news conference. 

Stressing that the merger was pursued from a position of strength and not by necessity, Jumonville said SCL Health's hospitals will keep their Catholic names and values. However, SCL Health will be rebranded as Intermountain over the next two years. 

The new organization will be overseen by an integrated governing board, Harrison said. He promised to bring together the best practices of both organizations and "transform the patient experience" through the merger.

“This is a great day for our organizations, our caregivers and the people in the communities we serve," he said. "We also believe it’s a great day for healthcare in the United States as it promotes and advances the cause of affordable, high quality and accessible care delivered in a value-based model.”

A definitive agreement is expected to be signed by the end of the year, Harrison said, and the merger is expected to close in 2022.

“SCL Health and Intermountain are pursuing our merger from positions of strength,” said Jumonville. “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.”

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