GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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July 19, 2011

Northeast, Lahey join forces

Northeast Health System and Lahey Clinic Tuesday announced an affiliation that would create a $1.5 billion, integrated regional health system along an axis from Gloucester to Burlington, to be governed by a new nonprofit corporation with equal representation from both sides of the health care marriage.

Anchored by Beverly and Gloucester's Addison Gilbert Hospitals, Northeast and its North Shore neighbor, Lahey, have had a long working relationship in special fields, notably cardiology, critical care and surgery.

Leveraging a world-class brand name for the physician-led teaching hospital founded in Boston in 1923, the new entity will be called Lahey Health System.

It will be led by Howard Grant, the current president and CEO of the Lahey Clinic, now centered in Burlington with a hospital-medical center at the North Shore Mall in Peabody and other facilities across the region.

"The new entity," Grant said Tuesday in a joint telephone interview with Northeast CEO Ken Hanover, "will be focused on delivering the right care at the right place at the right time, with an emphasis on the need to provide services closest top home at the highest quality and the lowest cost."

"No money is changing hands; the new parent entity will control all the resources of the two organizations, (including Addison Gilbert)," Grant and Hanover said in the telephone interview.

Further additions to the new entity are anticipated.

"We have already had discussions with other providers in the region who are like-minded," said Hanover.

Northeast a 'subsidiary'

Hanover will remain at the head of Northeast, which, under the agreement, will function as a subsidiary of the future holding company.

They said Tuesday that the agreement to forge an affiliation of the two systems had been reached within the past 24 hours, and documented in a "letter of intent"; the full detailed agreement will be the focus of work over the next 90 days, then submitted for public scrutiny and regulatory approval.

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