UPDATE: UW Health to merge with SwedishAmerican in Rockford - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: UW Health to merge with SwedishAmerican in Rockford

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MADISON (WKOW) -- UW Health released a statement on the merger with SwedishAmerican Health System.

Here is its release:

The entities of University of Wisconsin Health (UW Health) in Madison, WI, and SwedishAmerican Health System in Rockford, IL, announced today their respective boards have approved a letter of intent in which SwedishAmerican will merge with the UW Health system.

Upon regulatory approval of the merger later this year, SwedishAmerican will become a critical partner in UW Health’s community healthcare delivery model, which is responsive to the major healthcare changes occurring regionally and nationally.

SwedishAmerican and UW Health have had a formal affiliation since 2010. That affiliation has led to the development of the new SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center. The $40 million free-standing center opened to patients last October at a site in northeast Rockford, near I-90 and Riverside Blvd. As an affiliate, SwedishAmerican also participates in telestroke and electronic Intensive Care Unit (e-ICU) services with UW Health.

“This merger is a logical progression of our successful affiliation of the past four years,” said Dr. Bill Gorski, president and CEO of SwedishAmerican. “By becoming a valued part of the world-class UW Health system, we are excited about what the future holds, despite these uncertain times. The Rockford region, as well as people throughout northern Illinois, will have greater access to the breakthrough research, advanced medical specialties and community health initiatives that earn UW Health national recognition.”

“As UW Health grows, we are looking for partners who share a commitment to promoting the health of the communities they serve, and SwedishAmerican has made that commitment,” said Dr. Jeffrey Grossman, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and president and CEO of UW Medical Foundation. “As we’ve worked together, we have come to understand that we share common values in our approach to healthcare delivery. We feel very comfortable working with one another.”

Donna Katen-Bahensky, president and CEO of UW Hospital and Clinics, said, “SwedishAmerican has been nationally recognized and honored for its devotion to quality and its superior outcomes. UW Hospital and Clinics is proud to join with such a recognized leader.”

After studying the dynamic healthcare environment, the SwedishAmerican Board of Directors decided that it is critical for community healthcare systems to broaden their reach, reduce their costs, coordinate patient care and have increased access to capital and technology.

“As a Board of community leaders, our priority has been to develop strategies and tactics that ensure outstanding patient care, manage population health, provide for access and investment beyond current capabilities and maintain a meaningful role for local governance,” says SwedishAmerican Board Chairman Dan Loescher. “This partnership meets all of those goals.”

Dr. Gorski will continue to serve as CEO of SwedishAmerican and lead the SwedishAmerican senior leadership team. He will report to both the SwedishAmerican Board and to the Board of University Health Care, Inc., the not-for-profit organization that facilitates relationships with regional hospitals for UW Health.

UW Health is an academic health center anchored by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, in partnership with UW Hospital and Clinics, a 566-bed hospital, and UW Medical Foundation, one of the nation’s largest multi-specialty faculty physician groups.

SwedishAmerican is a not-for-profit, locally governed healthcare system, headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. The health system is comprised of two hospitals, 30 clinics, a home health care agency and a foundation.

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WKOW) -- Officials with SwedishAmerican Health System have confirmed to WKOW's sister station, WREX, it plans to merge with UW Health. The official announcement is expected to come in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

WREX reports the merger will take place later this year, furthering a formal affiliation between SwedishAmerican and UW Health that has been in place since 2010.

Details of the merger and how it could impact current and future patients have not been released.

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