Kennedy and Jefferson Kick Off New Era with New Hospital Names
Unveil Plans to Expand Specialty Services and Telehealth in Southern New Jersey
PHILADELPHIA and CHERRY HILL, NJ (October 4, 2017) – Signs outside Kennedy Health’s buildings are undergoing a makeover as it transforms to Jefferson Health under the terms of a merger that became effective last month. Jefferson held a series of celebrations across the former Kennedy Health sites to formally welcome employees into the Jefferson family.
Kennedy Health hospitals will now be known as Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital, Jefferson Stratford Hospital and Jefferson Washington Township Hospital. The renaming is part of a unifying change to highlight Jefferson Health’s southern New Jersey hub as Jefferson continues its efforts to bring world class health care to patients in the communities where they live.
“Jefferson and South Jersey have always been a great match and through this marriage of Jefferson and Kennedy Health our patients will become the beneficiaries of the best of both organizations now becoming one,” said Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “New Jersey patients and our employees will have access to the care of a top 20 academic medical center where ever they are – on their phone, computer or at home in their community.”
Jefferson Health is in preliminary planning stages of integrating the organizations and expanding access to specialty and primary care in New Jersey through additional sites of care and JeffConnect®, which offers patients on-demand video visits 24/7, scheduled video visits, remote second opinions and virtual rounds. Jefferson Health’s physicians in New Jersey are anticipated to join JeffConnect in the coming months.
“Like Kennedy Health, Jefferson has a well-deserved reputation for its commitment to the communities it is privileged to serve,” said Joseph W. Devine, who will now serve in the role of President, New Jersey division of Jefferson Health and Executive Vice President of Hospital and Health Services at Jefferson Health. “This partnership is about bringing expanded and specialized health care to the community.”
“Joe Devine’s leadership and expertise are vital to the continued success of the hospitals at Cherry Hill, Stratford and Washington Townships. He will focus on Jefferson’s New Jersey operations, growth strategy and partnerships in southern New Jersey,” Klasko added.
The integration builds on Jefferson’s strong ties to the South Jersey community. Thousands of Jefferson employees and their dependents, patients, alumni and postgraduate trainees currently live in New Jersey. Since the late 1990s, Jefferson Voorhees has offered a wide range of medical and surgical specialties in an ambulatory setting conveniently accessible to major highways. New Jersey is also home to Jefferson offices in Burlington and Gloucester Counties. Additionally, before the merger, Kennedy Health hospitals were connected to Jefferson as a member of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Network at Jefferson and Jefferson Neuroscience Network.
“Jefferson and Kennedy already have a successful track record together which is why we are confident that we can fulfill our mutual missions synergistically,” added Klasko. “The seeds of our relationship were planted in 2011, when we established relationships in orthopedics and neurosciences. This launched a very collaborative and effective partnership that, six years later, continues to deliver life-changing and life-saving treatments to thousands of South Jersey patients.”
Leaders from Kennedy Health and Jefferson Ink Final Merger Deal
PHILADELPHIA and WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (September 14, 2017) - Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, and Joseph W. Devine, President and CEO of Kennedy Health, joined Jefferson board members for a ceremonial signing to celebrate the official merger of the two organizations. This milestone marks the first time that a Philadelphia health system has fully merged with a southern New Jersey health system.
The ceremonial signing marked the culmination of a process formally begun in January 2016 with the signing of a Letter of Intent to announce the planned integration between the two Delaware Valley health care organizations. A Definitive Agreement outlining terms of the proposed merger was signed in August 2016.
Unlike an acquisition, this partnership builds on Jefferson’s innovative hub-and-hub model, where Kennedy Health will serve as the southern New Jersey core of Jefferson Health.
South Jersey residents will receive care from the same trusted physicians, nurses and staff, but also have access to Jefferson’s advanced clinical services and promising clinical trials.
The boards of Jefferson and Kennedy unanimously approved the merger, which extends the shared governance model that was established with Abington, Aria and Jefferson. Kennedy will have equal representation on the expanded Jefferson board.
Kennedy - Jefferson Merger FAQ
The Kennedy Health - Jefferson Health merger is a monumental win for the Philadelphia and South Jersey communities, but it also brings with it many new questions about the future of health care in our region. See answers to some frequently asked questions below:
What has been announced?
We have merged with Jefferson Health. Now that the merger is finalized, we can give greater reach to Jefferson’s transformative hub-and-hub model of delivering more value to patients by providing the right care, at the right place, at the right time, to the communities we serve.
How will this integration benefit patients across southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey?
With the addition of Kennedy Health, Jefferson will continue to drive the transformation of health care in southeast Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Kennedy Health broadens Jefferson’s ability to deliver more value – higher quality, better outcomes and with a better experience – to patients and their families across the region.
What, if any, changes can we expect to see in the near future?
While we have completed the legal steps to bring Kennedy and Jefferson together, there is still much work to be done integrating both organizations. We will continue to deliver high-quality health care services to our community, follow Kennedy’s existing policies and procedures, and recruit and hire for our vacant positions. We will also continue to keep our associates, volunteers and Medical Staff updated through our normal means of communication – employee newsletters, intranet homepage, emails, staff meetings and Town Halls.
Is the Kennedy Mission, Vision and Values changing?
As a result of the Culture Jam that Kennedy associates participated in this past winter, a new Mission, Vision and Values was developed for the new Jefferson enterprise. The themes from our Kennedy existing Mission, Vision and Values shine through clearly in the new enterprise’s words of “We Improve Lives.” More information will be shared at upcoming Town Halls in October.
How does this impact physicians? Will there be changes to physicians’ credentialing or privileges?
Jefferson embraces a diverse network of physicians, including faculty practice, employed and independent community physicians, geared to serving patients where they live. With the Jefferson integration, Kennedy physicians will have better access to refer patients to Jefferson specialists when required care is not offered at Kennedy. Joining Jefferson will improve the coordination of a patients’ care when they return to their community for follow-up treatment at Kennedy facilities. Eventually, the process will become seamless.
There are no immediate plans to change credentialing or privileges. The completion of the merger does not affect current contracts – they will continue to be honored.
An integration committee bringing together clinical and executive leaders from across our combined system is working on developing a plan for a seamless clinical enterprise. This committee includes physicians who provide a range of viewpoints. Seeking input from physicians across the enhanced Jefferson network will be an important part of the committee’s work. Any changes affecting physicians resulting from this committee will be communicated well in advance. Dedicated employees and physicians at Kennedy and across the Jefferson system play a key role in our future success.
Will we still seek The Joint Commission (TJC) and other regulatory accreditation?
Yes. We will continue to pursue all necessary accreditations and seek out opportunities for other recognitions, awards and accolades for the excellent work produced at Kennedy.
Are we still pursuing Magnet Designation?
Yes. In early August, Kennedy submitted our application for Magnet Designation and will continue on this journey. When designated, Kennedy will join Jefferson and Abington in the elite class of Magnet-designated hospitals.
Is the Kennedy logo and name going to change?
Stay tuned! Our celebration and unveiling will be on October 4.
Do we still have a relationship with RowanSOM?
The merger will not impact our relationship with the Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine in any way. We will remain the primary teaching hospital and we will retain our osteopathic accreditation. Our residency programs will remain with an osteopathic emphasis.
Will campus construction continue as planned?
Yes. The Cherry Hill Phase 2 revitalization project is already under way and the new patient tower is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2020. We are also planning construction on the Washington Township campus, which will greatly improve parking and access for our visitors and associates. This project could begin within the next few months.