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Lourdes Health System and Saint Francis Medical Center to Join Cooper University Health Care, Creating an Expanded System to Serve New Jersey Communities

CAMDEN and TRENTON, NJ: Cooper University Health Care, Lourdes Health System and St. Francis Medical Center today announced plans for all three New Jersey health systems to consolidate within Cooper. The transaction is part of a letter of intent signed by Cooper and Maxis Health, an entity of Trinity Health that is the parent of Lourdes and St. Francis.

Over the last year, Maxis, Lourdes and St. Francis have talked with several health systems that submitted proposals to work with Lourdes, based in Camden, N.J., and St. Francis, based in Trenton, N.J., to serve the people and communities of the region. Cooper proposed a partnership that would build on Lourdes’ and St. Francis’ existing capabilities, including nationally recognized cardiology programs, while maintaining the systems’ names and mission. Cooper, Lourdes and St. Francis have each demonstrated their long-standing commitment to caring for urban populations and plan to broaden that work as part of a new partnership.

“In today’s health care environment in New Jersey, continuing success for Lourdes and St. Francis depends on being part of a growing regional network with a strong presence in local communities,” said Ben Carter, Executive Vice President of Trinity Health. “Cooper’s proven commitment to exemplary care, a community-based health focus and service to people who are poor gives us confidence that the mission and communities of Lourdes and St. Francis will remain in good hands as part of a system with these anchor institutions.”

“This agreement will bring together health care providers from across south and central New Jersey, allowing us to dramatically expand access to the high quality of care for thousands of new patients,” said George E. Norcross, III, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Cooper University Health Care. “Since its founding 130 years ago, Cooper has always been committed to providing the best care possible for its community. With this announcement, the size of our community may expand, but the high-quality of care will remain the same. Come grow with us.”

“For our community and our ministry, our partnership with Cooper will create new opportunities for high-quality care and long-term growth,” said Reginald Blaber, MD, president of Lourdes Health System. “We are especially excited to bring our physician networks together and to develop a regional cardiac center of excellence.”

“This partnership with Cooper will continue our mission through expanded service to urban communities and a broader, ongoing commitment to charity care,” said Vince Costantino, interim president and chief administrative officer of St. Francis Medical Center. “Our communities will benefit from a unique combination of experience, resources and capabilities that support the long-term sustainability of our ministry. Cooper is a great match for us.”

The next step is for the systems to engage in discussions and due diligence that lead to a definitive agreement that will be subject to regulatory approval.

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