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Published on January 29, 2015

Jefferson and Abington Health LogosAbington Health and Jefferson Reach Definitive Agreement Take Next Step in Reimagining Region’s Healthcare

ABINGTON, PA and PHILADELPHIA, PA (Jan. 29, 2015) — Leaders at Abington Health and Jefferson are very pleased to announce that today they have reached a definitive agreement to merge the two organizations to form a new enterprise. 

The agreement was signed by Steve Klasko, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System, and Laurence M. Merlis, president and CEO, Abington Health, as well as the chairs of both organizations’ Boards of Trustees, Stephen Crane of Abington Health, and Richard Hevner of Thomas Jefferson University.  The signing follows a period of due diligence and work on the definitive agreement which began in November 2014.

“We believe this will be a precedent-setting model, defined by shared governance and the first large scale urban-suburban hub and hub model.  It will create tremendous opportunities for us in population health and healthcare delivery, as well as in education and research.  We anticipate that this structure and the tenets of this new enterprise will be attractive to other healthcare organizations in the greater Delaware Valley and be adopted as a model for the future,” said Klasko.  “Abington and Jefferson are two financially strong organizations that are in a good position to act now.”

The definitive agreement outlines a shared governance model with equal representation from Jefferson and Abington on a newly established board. In addition, there will be two trustees who have no previous relationship with either organization.  This shared governance model is the foundation for innovation within this new healthcare organization.

The new combined enterprise will ensure the strength of the organization and the ability to care for patients in the community and educate students of the future in this rapidly evolving healthcare environment.

The shared leadership approach will be modeled throughout the new organization, with a focus on clinical integration utilizing the expertise of clinical leaders and physicians—numbering more than 3,300—to help guide the delivery of care.  With one of the oldest medical schools in the nation complemented by other health-related schools and programs, the long standing commitment to educate future generations will continue to be a priority.

This definitive agreement brings both organizations one step closer to building a healthcare model for the future. The final step in the process is for the organizations to obtain the necessary state and federal regulatory approvals which we anticipate will be completed later in 2015.

“This is a bold step forward for patient care, wellness, and educating future healthcare providers.  We have two outstanding organizations coming together in a unique way with locations in the city and the suburbs, enabling us to deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right location,” said Merlis.


The following positions have been determined for the new organization:

  • Steve Klasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO
  • Laurence M. Merlis, Senior Executive Vice President and COO
  • Anne Docimo, MD, MBA, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
  • John J. Kelly, MD, MBA, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer

Drs. Kelly and Docimo will continue in their respective roles as Chief of Staff, Abington, and Chief Medical Officer, Jefferson.


A branding study is underway to develop a cohesive brand strategy and implementation plan for the new organization, taking into account the longstanding value and brand equity in each organization.  This study is expected to be completed later this year.

The new organization encompasses the following:

19,000 employees

3,370 physicians

Almost $3 billion in revenue

Five hospitals: Abington Memorial Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Jefferson Hospital for Neurosciences, Lansdale Hospital, Methodist Hospital

1,751 inpatient beds

7 Outpatient Centers

Thomas Jefferson University, including Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Jefferson Schools of Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health and the Jefferson Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

About Abington Health

Abington Health is the umbrella organization that encompasses its flagship hospital, Abington Memorial Hospital, in Abington and Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township. Abington Health also includes five convenient outpatient facilities, Abington Health Center - Schilling in Willow Grove, Abington Health Center - Warminster in Bucks County, Abington Health Center – Blue Bell, Abington Health Center-Lower Gwynedd and Abington Health Center – Montgomeryville in North Wales. Together, these facilities serve more than 33,000 inpatients, 124,000 emergency patients and over 677,000 outpatient visits annually.

More than 1,400 physicians are on staff at both Abington Memorial Hospital and Lansdale Hospital. Additionally, Abington Health Physicians is an employed network of primary care physicians and specialists. Abington Health has 6,000 employees, making it one of the largest employers in Montgomery County.

About Jefferson — Health is all we do.

Thomas Jefferson University, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and Jefferson University Physicians are partners in providing the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educating the health professionals of tomorrow, and discovering new treatments and therapies that will define the future of healthcare. Thomas Jefferson University enrolls more than 3,600 future physicians, scientists and healthcare professionals in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC); Jefferson Schools of Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health; and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and is home of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. Jefferson University Physicians is a multi-specialty physician practice consisting of over 650 SKMC full-time faculty. Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals is the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia. Services are provided at five locations — Thomas Jefferson University Hospital  and Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Center City Philadelphia; Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia; Jefferson at the Navy Yard; and Jefferson at Voorhees in South Jersey.

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