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RWJBarnabas Health and Trinitas Regional Medical Center reach definitive agreement to merge

RWJBH will make significant investments in Trinitas and expand its network of outpatient services.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

RWJBarnabas Health and Trinitas Regional Medical Center have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Trinitas and its affiliates will become a part of the RWJBH system. The agreement follows the October 2019 signing by both institutions of a letter of intent to explore a potential transaction.

Approvals will be necessary from state and federal authorities, and the Catholic Church, before the transaction is considered complete in a process that is expected to take up to one year.

Under the terms of the agreement, the role of Trinitas as a full-service Catholic provider of acute healthcare services for the eastern Union County community will be enhanced. RWJBH will make significant investments in Trinitas and will expand the network of outpatient services currently provided by Trinitas, resulting in what the entities expect will be a higher level of care for the community.
RWJBH will become the sole member – i.e., corporate parent – of Trinitas. Trinitas will retain its identity as a Catholic institution and will abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth will continue to serve as the Catholic sponsor of Trinitas. The Trinitas Board will continue to oversee day-to-day operations of Trinitas.

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RWJBH is a comprehensive academic healthcare system in New Jersey with a service area of nine counties, covering five million people. The system includes 11 acute care hospitals, three acute care children's hospitals and a pediatric rehabilitation hospital, among other facilities. RWJBH has a partnership with Rutgers University, creating New Jersey's largest academic healthcare system.

Trinitas Regional Medical Center is a 554-bed Catholic acute care teaching hospital located in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Trinitas provides more than 400,000 patient contacts per year and renders care throughout the State of New Jersey. Trinitas is the result of a merger in the year 2000 between Elizabeth General Medical Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital.

The agreement states, in part: "The parties have been in discussions for some time and share a common perspective and culture regarding the provision of high quality, cost-effective services to their communities consistent with their respective missions and the need to move in the direction of population health management."


The announcement comes on the heels of a definitive agreement signed in October between RWJBH and Saint Peter's Healthcare System in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to integrate the two health systems.

Under the terms of the agreement, Saint Peter's – with its flagship hospital, Saint Peter's University Hospital, a 478-bed acute care teaching hospital and acute care children's hospital – will remain as a full-service provider of acute healthcare services serving New Jersey and the region. It will continue its long-standing mission and identity as a Catholic hospital.

RWJBH has committed to making significant strategic capital investments in facilities, technology and innovation to enhance and expand the clinical services provided at Saint Peter's.

Also in October, Hackensack Meridian Health and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey teamed up as equal provider and payer owners of the newly-created Medicare Advantage business, Braven Health. RWJBH was set to come onboard as a 10% minority owner, subject to state approvals.

Capping a busy month, RWJBH launched its new social determinants of health program, Health Beyond the Hospital, in collaboration with NowPow and ConsejoSano to refer and connect patients to community-based services. The program is set to begin piloting at select sites in the health system by completing social determinants of health screenings for patients. It will examine patients' food security, housing, educational opportunities, smoking and substance use, access to transportation and other social and environmental factors.


"We are excited that Trinitas Regional Medical Center and its affiliates will become a part of RWJBarnabas Health," said Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and CEO RWJBH. "Trinitas is a vital resource to the communities it serves, and we intend to greatly expand its excellent care to residents of new communities in northern and central New Jersey. When joining together two entities with such similar missions and goals, the opportunities are enormous."

"Throughout several years of discussion, including a very thorough due diligence process, I am more convinced than ever that our eventual move into the RWJBH system is an extremely positive and exciting development for our institution," said Gary S. Horan, FACHE, president and CEO of Trinitas. "Our chief goal is to provide care for our community, and this partnership will give us the resources and opportunities to greatly enhance the already high level of care we provide."

"Our organization has been committed to serving the community to the best of its ability since 1879," said Trinitas chairman Victor M. Richel. "It's wonderful to know that this commitment will continue far into the future as part of RWJBH."

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