BJC, Saint Luke’s Moving Ahead With Missouri Merger

BJC Health System of St. Louis and Saint Luke’s Health System of Kansas City are moving forward with their combination agreement after satisfying all regulatory reviews. The transaction is expected to close on January 1, 2024.

The agreement follows a letter of intent signed in May 2023 by both nonprofits. As a combined system of approximately $10 billion in revenue with 28 hospitals and hundreds of clinics and service centers, BJC and Saint Luke’s reach will extend across Missouri, southern Illinois and eastern Kansas.

Saint Luke’s will officially join BJC and together they will operate as a single, integrated healthcare organization serving two regions with a distinct brand in each: BJC HealthCare in the St. Louis region and Saint Luke’s in the region from Kansas City.

“This is an exciting day for the future of healthcare in the Midwest,” BJC President and CEO Richard Liekweg said in a statement. “Our extensive due diligence review, in partnership with Saint Luke’s, has affirmed the vital opportunities we have to improve healthcare in the communities we serve. “As an integrated health system, we will be unwavering in our commitment to providing extraordinary care to our communities, while creating the region’s premier destination to practice world-class medicine, discover clinical breakthroughs, and offer innovative care models.”

Liekweg will continue to serve as CEO of the integrated health system. Saint Luke’s CEO Melinda Estes, MD, announced plans to retire at the end of the year after delaying her planned departure in 2021 to help Saint Luke’s, its patients and teams navigate the pandemic.

Currently, BJC includes 14 hospitals and multiple health services organizations. Services provided by BJC include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care, and palliative care. BJC’s teaching hospitals, Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s Hospitals, are affiliated with the Washington University School of Medicine.

Saint Luke’s has more than 14 hospitals and campuses and more than 100 primary care and specialty offices, treating patients in 65 specialty services in 67 counties in Missouri and Kansas.

The integrated health system’s leadership team and board of directors will include representation from both BJC and Saint Luke’s.

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