Abington Health and Holy Redeemer Health System today announced a letter of intent to form a new regional health system.
Abington Health President and CEO Laurence Merlis and Holy Redeemer President and CEO Michael Laign made the announcement at the Abington Township building, which is across from Abington Memorial Hospital.
Abington Memorial, Holy Redeemer and hospitals will continue to serve their respective communities, according to Laign, and each will continue to have its own staff.
Talks were in the works for about a year. The yet-to-be-named regional health system will now enter a “due diligence period,” which will last up to three months. Then, the boards of each health system will enter into a definitive agreement. Laign said the new regional health system will likely have federal and state approvals to move forward by next spring.
Merlis will be the regional health system's CEO; Laign will be its COO.
“It’s something we believe will have a very meaningful impact in terms of making a difference in the lives of all those individuals that we are privileged to serve now and into the future,” Merlis said. “We saw that there was an absolute need for us to position ourselves for success to ensure that our community, our patients, our residents and our clients will always have the highest quality [and] the safest care in both an efficient and an effective manner.”
Merlis said he had a “great and deep respect” for Holy Redeemer’s religious traditions; he said Holy Redeemer would continue to comply with the religious directives for a Catholic health care system, and Abington, which he called a secular organization, will continue to offer women’s and reproductive health services, but will stop offering abortions.
Holy Redeemer Hospital dates back to 1924; Abington Memorial Hospital is ten years older.