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March 28, 2018

WCHN is CT's 2nd healthcare merger this week

Submitted photo The Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital.

Hospital M&A activity is hot and heavy this week in Connecticut.

On Wednesday, the three-hospital Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) said it had agreed to a merger with New York-based Health Quest Systems, which would create a seven-hospital network led by WCHN CEO Dr. John Murphy.

Health Quest CEO Robert Friedberg would serve as president of the newly formed system that would include WCHN’s Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk hospitals as well as Sharon Hospital, which merged into Health Quest last summer, reverting to nonprofit status.

It’s the second Connecticut hospital merger agreement this week, following Hartford HealthCare’s announcement Tuesday that it intends to acquire St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, which would represent its first major foray into Fairfield County.

“By joining together, we will expand our reach and enhance our position in today’s consumer-driven environment, helping people optimize their health, prevent disease and manage chronic conditions,” Health Quest's Friedberg said in a statement Wednesday. “The combined health system will help bring new programs and services to our communities.”

WCHN and Health Quest said their combined system would serve 1.5 million residents across the two states and include 2,600 aligned physicians and more than 12,000 total employees.

The deal, which the two sides hope will close in 2019, would need multiple regulatory approvals.

Financial terms have not yet been disclosed.

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