NW Indiana Hospital Merger Talks Escalate

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Ray Grady is CEO of Methodist Health. Ray Grady is CEO of Methodist Health.

Two of the largest health care systems in northwest Indiana could merge. Mishawaka-based Franciscan Alliance and Methodist Hospitals have signed a letter of intent to create one system that would be "better positioned" to meet future health care challenges. Methodist, which has hospital campuses in Gary and Merrillville and health centers throughout the region, first announced it would consider merger options mid-last year.

The non-binding letter has been signed, and for the next 120 days, the two systems will hold exclusive discussions. In a letter to employees obtained by our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana, Methodist Chief Executive Officer Ray Grady says he is optimistic about the possibilities. He added the potential combination "offers a path forward to enhance the delivery of high-quality, accessible, cost-effective health care in our region, improving the quality of life of our families and neighbors."

In a statement, Franciscan Alliance CEO Kevin Leahy said “we believe that, together, we can provide better access to care, enhance patient services, improve quality, and lower costs through cooperation. By leveraging the talent and expertise of our physicians and clinical staffs we can improve the patient experience for those whom we are privileged to serve."

Franciscan Alliance employs some 20,000 throughout the state and Methodist has more than 2,400 workers.

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