Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Area hospitals to merge into one

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Albany/HV: Area hospitals to merge into one
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A decision has been reached in regards to a possible merger of area hospitals. Our Megan Cruz has the details.

CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. -- "By combining the complementary strengths of our organizations, we're going to be able to significantly improve our ability to serve the people in this community," said Dr. James Reed, the president and CEO of Northeast Health.

The Federal Trade Commission agrees and has given the go-ahead for a merger of three Capital Region health care organizations.

"We're now able to go forward to begin and actually do the work," said Scott St. George, Seton Health's Interim CEO.

To make three into one. Northeast Health, Seton Health and St. Peter's Health held a news conference Friday to announce what's next.

"We think this is an opportunity for us to innovate in ways we couldn't in the past," said Reed.

"We hope to deliver services that are more friendly to our patients, more friendly to our physicians, really make it the best place for everybody," said St. George.

But what does this mean for St. Mary's? St. Peter's? Samaritan? Albany Memorial? The four hospitals and 121 other care facilities are currently operated by the three organizations.

"We are not starting out on the premise of closing locations," said Steven Boyle, the president and CEO of St. Peter's Health. "In fact, remember, our main goal is access and those locations provide access."

But most mergers do mean layoffs.

"That is specifically not this merger," said Reed. "This merger is not designed to reduce staff at all."

Hospital leaders say full integration of the three organizations will take several years, but they hope to begin that process in late August. As for the new name...

"No. We're working on it though. It's real easy too," said Boyle.

After the merger is complete, the new organization will be the largest employer in the Capital Region, second only to New York State.

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