Saint Luke’s Agrees to Merger with BJC of St. Louis

BJC Health System of St. Louis and Saint Luke’s Health System of Kansas City recently announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine as an integrated, academic and patient-centric Missouri-based health system. The agreement follows a letter of intent signed in May 2023 by both organizations and after satisfying all regulatory reviews. The transaction was expected to close Jan. 1, 2024.

As a combined system of approximately $10 billion in revenue with 28 hospitals and hundreds of clinics and service centers, BJC and Saint Luke’s will extend their shared commitment to deliver high-quality, affordable patient care to the communities they serve across Missouri, southern Illinois, and eastern Kansas.

At the time of closing, Saint Luke’s will officially join BJC, and together, operate as a single, integrated health care organization that serves two regions with a distinct brand in each: BJC HealthCare in the St. Louis region and Saint Luke’s in the Kansas City region.

“This is an exciting day for the future of health care in the Midwest,” said BJC President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Liekweg. “Our thorough due diligence review, in partnership with Saint Luke’s, has affirmed the vital opportunities we have to improve health care across the communities we serve. As an integrated health system, we will be unwavering in our commitment to provide extraordinary care to our communities, while creating the region’s premier destination to practice world-class medicine, discover clinical breakthroughs and deliver innovative models of care.” 

“We are pleased to reach this important milestone in our journey to unite Saint Luke’s and BJC as we build on our shared mission to better serve our patients, teams and communities,” said Saint Luke’s Health System Chief Executive Officer Melinda L. Estes, MD. “Together, we have the opportunity to improve the health of our communities for decades to come and to establish a new national standard for medical education and research. With complementary expertise and clinical care capabilities across our separate markets, delivered by nationally renowned health care professionals, our integrated system will serve patients across the continuum of care.”

Both BJC and Saint Luke’s reaffirm their commitments to the goals and objectives defined in the initial letter of intent. The integrated health system will:

  • Deliver Extraordinary Clinical Care to Patients: With increased capacity to invest in medical advancements and innovation, the integrated system will better serve patients in their respective markets and communities.
  • Recruit Top Talent: BJC and Saint Luke’s will expand the region’s most exceptional place to work and practice medicine, attracting and retaining the best and brightest in health care. 
  • Expedite Medical Innovation: Building on each organization’s research, education and clinical care infrastructure, the combined entity will accelerate innovation in patient care and advance medical breakthroughs. 
  • Create Healthier Communities: Driven by a commitment to preserve equitable access to health care services, address health care disparities and act as civic and economic leaders, together they expect to contribute more than $1 billion in annual community benefit.

As previously announced, BJC President and CEO Richard Liekweg will continue to serve as CEO of the integrated health system. Saint Luke’s CEO Melinda Estes has announced plans to retire at the end of the year after delaying her planned 2021 departure to see Saint Luke’s, its patients and teams through the pandemic.

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