Aurora to merge with Advocate
System would serve 3 million patients, employ 3,300 physicians

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Dec. 5, 2017

People enter the Aurora Medical Center on June 25, 2014, in Hartford.
Daily News

MILWAUKEE — Once Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care merge into the 10th largest not-for- profit, integrated health care system in the United States, it will serve nearly 3 million patients each year.

The plans for the two health care providers to merge were announced Monday. The reasons provided for the merger were enhanced scale, expanded access, greater efficiencies and a shared commitment to transform the care delivery model.

“For the communities in Illinois and Wisconsin that we serve and for our two organizations, this is an unprecedented opportunity to shape our future and better serve patients,” said Nick Turkal, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Aurora, in a statement. “We are fortunate that our organizations are coming together from unique and complementary positions of strength, particularly at a time of evolving industry dynamics. Working together, we will deliver on the promise of value for the people who receive, provide and pay for health care.”

According to Monday’s announcement, both the Chicago-based Advocate and Milwaukee-based Aurora boards of directors approved the plan. Advocate and Aurora already have had joint ownership and operation of ACL Laboratories for 20 years.

“This merger is about transforming care delivery and reimagining the possibilities of health as bigger meets better and size meets value to benefit consumers,” said Jim Skogsbergh, president and chief executive officer of Advocate, in a statement. “By joining forces we will be able to expand our network to scale innovation and create a destination in the Midwest for patients and the talented clinicians who care for them.”

Once combined, the new organization will operate 27 hospitals, more than 500 sites of care, employ more than 3,300 physicians and nearly 70,000 associates and caregivers.

The combined annual revenues are expected to be approximately $11 billion. The agreement includes a plan for a single board of directors comprising an equal number of members from Advocate and Aurora, with Skogsbergh and Turkal as co-CEOs.

The Advocate and Aurora names will continue to be used. Each system will maintain its current headquarters.

The agreement is subject to state and federal regulatory review and approval, including the Federal Trade Commission and agencies within Illinois and Wisconsin.

Closing is expected by mid-year 2018.