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Prime foundation to buy Memorial Hospital of Salem County from Community Health Systems

The sale will also include several physician clinics from CHS.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Memorial Hospital of Salem County

The nonprofit Prime Healthcare Foundation will buy the Memorial Hospital of Salem County from Community Health Systems, the healthcare providers announced this week.

Upon approval, assets will be transferred to Prime early in 2016.

No sale price was announced.

[Also: Prime wins bid for Saint Michael's in New Jersey]

The sale will also include several physician clinics from CHS -- which, through various subsidiaries, currently owns, leases or operates 198 affiliated hospitals in 29 states, totaling about 30,000 licensed beds.

The New Jersey hospital offers emergency and medical/surgical services, including cardiopulmonary and wound care. It has received Gold Star approval from The Joint Commission and is a certified Primary Stroke Center.

The deal is the latest for Prime, which claims it has never closed or sold a hospital. In November, Prime agreed to buy the financially struggling Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey, for $62 million.

Elizabeth Nikels, Prime's vice president of marketing and communications, said the company plans to invest about $5 million in capital improvements in the hospital.

[Also: Prime to buy River Valley Health Partners, add one hospital in Ohio]

"Prime Healthcare is committed to keeping The Memorial Hospital of Salem County open and building upon the legacy of quality care that the hospital is known for," Nikels said in an email. "We have a record of success and expertise in operational efficiencies and our business model is based on physician-driven leadership and meticulous dedication to clinical care.

Nikels also said Prime would expand services at the hospital and will keep all current employees and insurance contracts.

[Also: Prime sues California attorney general over Daughters of Charity deal]

Current ownership of the hospital will remain in place until the transaction is approved.

Prime Healthcare Foundation is the nonprofit wing of the for-profit Prime Healthcare Services, a national hospital system encompassing 38 acute-care hospitals in 11 states.

Twitter: @JELagasse