Kennedy Health and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals will gather at a ceremony later today to sign a letter of intent in what would be a "first major step" in a potential merger of the two hospitals, according to a joint statement from Kennedy and Jefferson.
The ceremony will be held at noon at Kennedy University Hospital on Hurffville-Cross Keys Road in Washington Township.
"?The governing boards of both South Jersey-based Kennedy Health and Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University voted to authorize the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to pursue the possible integration of the two organizations," the statement said.
It added that "Both Kennedy and Jefferson view the opportunity as a first step toward a potential combination each hope will drive innovation in health care. Today, the leadership will host a ceremony to sign the LOI."
Leaders and representatives of both institution will be in attendance to mark the occasion.
If approved, the agreement would be the latest in a series of mergers by Jefferson.
Earlier this week, the Philadelphia-based hospital merged with Aria Health — which operates two hospitals in Philadelphia and another in Bucks County, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. Last year, integrating Abington's two hospitals in Montgomery County into the Jefferson group.
Kennedy Health has 607 beds across its three hospitals in Washington Township, Stratford and Cherry Hill. Kennedy reported $540 million in revenue in 2014 and employs 4,470 in its hospitals and other facilities, according to previous reports.
The announcement comes just weeks after CEO Joseph Devine declared his opposition to Rowan University's plans to sell land to Inspira Health Network for construction of a new hospital in Harrison Township, Gloucester County, previous report said.
He asserted that building the new hospital — which would be about 6 miles from Kennedy's hospital in Washington Township — would be detrimental to Kennedy, endangering jobs. The measure was tabled after Devine publicly stated his opposition at a recent Rowan board of trustees meeting on the land sale. The board of trustees said it would revisit the matter next month.