Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health to Combine to Create New Health and Wellness System

Advocate Aurora Health — based in Downers Grove, Ill., and Milwaukee, Wis. — and Atrium Health of Charlotte, N.C., announced in mid-May their plans to come together to create a leading health and wellness delivery system to best meet patients’ needs by redefining how, when and where care is delivered. The organizations cited their complementary strengths, diverse experiences and enhanced capabilities as key enablers to improve lives.

“The world of healthcare as we know it is changing at warp speed — and it is rapidly becoming more digital, personalized, scientific and complex,” said Eugene A. Woods, president and chief executive officer of Atrium Health. “This strategic combination will enable us to deepen our commitments to health equity, create more jobs and opportunities for our teammates and communities, launch new game-changing innovations and so much more. Together, we will manifest a new future that significantly elevates the care we provide to every hand we hold and every life we touch.”

“Together, we can do more, be better and go faster,” said Jim Skogsbergh, president and chief executive officer of Advocate Aurora Health. “This combination harnesses our complementary strengths and expertise of our doctors, nurses and teammates to lead health care’s transformation for those we are so proud to serve.”
Leadership pointed to the organizations’ combined clinical excellence — including in medical research and population health — as well as advanced capabilities in data analytics and digital consumer infrastructure as key value accelerators, which will allow them to make a positive impact across six key areas: clinical pre-eminence and safety, health equity, affordability, next-generation workforce, learning and discovery, and environmental sustainability. Highlights include a $2 billion pledge to disrupt the root causes of health inequities across both rural and urban underserved communities, their commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, and a pledge to create more than 20,000 new jobs across the communities they serve.

The new organization will have a combined footprint across Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. It will serve 5.5 million patients, operate more than 1,000 sites of care and 67 hospitals, employ more than 7,600 physicians and nearly 150,000 teammates, and have combined revenues of more than $27 billion.

The Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health Boards of Directors unanimously approved the agreement, which is subject to regulatory review.

“We’ve long admired Atrium Health’s nationally recognized clinical excellence and commitment to health equity,” said Michele Richardson, chair of Advocate Aurora Health’s board of directors. “Given our combined reach, coupled with our talented physicians, nurses and staff, we are uniquely positioned to lead health care’s transformation and create a platform for innovation.”

“Advocate Aurora Health has a well-earned reputation as a national leader in diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as its value-based approach to care that has led to better outcomes and more affordable health care,” said Edward J. Brown III, chair of Atrium Health’s board of directors. “We share a bold vision for the future as we aspire to create a consumer-first system aimed at improving the lives of individuals across the diverse communities we serve.”

A board of directors comprising an equal number of members from Advocate Aurora and Atrium Health will govern the enterprise. Brown will chair the board of directors until December 31, 2023, and Richardson will assume leadership for the immediately succeeding two-year term. Skogsbergh and Woods will serve as co-CEOs for the first 18 months, at which point Skogsbergh will retire and Woods will become the sole CEO.

The combined organization will transition to a new brand — Advocate Health — with the Advocate Aurora and Atrium Health brands continuing to be used in their respective local markets. Wake Forest University School of Medicine will be the academic core of the combined entity. The new organization will be headquartered in Charlotte, while continuing to maintain a strong organizational presence in Chicago and Milwaukee, including a new institute for health equity located in Milwaukee. Advocate Health will deliver nearly $5 billion in annual community benefit, including charity care and other forms of uncompensated and undercompensated care.

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