Northwestern Medicine likely to merge with KishHealth System

Julia Jacobs, Summer Editor

Northwestern Medicine will likely expand its reach after KishHealth System signed an agreement Aug. 5 to join the company.

The agreement, subject to regulatory approval by the state in the fall, will add two hospitals and about 20 medical locations to the Northwestern Medicine system. KishHealth, a community-owned health system based in DeKalb, Illinois, operates facilities in eight cities in the state.

“As a growing integrated academic health system, KishHealth joining Northwestern Medicine will allow for even greater patient access to world class care conveniently located where patients live and work,” said Dean M. Harrison, president and CEO of parent company Northwestern Memorial HealthCare in a news release.

If the expansion is approved, Northwestern Medicine would encompass more than 90 locations in eight Illinois counties, including six hospitals.

KishHealth currently runs hospitals in DeKalb and Sandwich, Illinois, and provides hospice, home health, cancer care and behavioral health services. The merge would add about 1,600 employees to the Northwestern Medicine system, said Joseph Dant, vice president of business development at KishHealth.

Dant said the agreement will allow the health system to fill clinical gaps in areas such as cardiology and oncology as well as allow many patients to be treated locally.

“We think it will benefit our patients greatly,” he said. “By partnering with someone like Northwestern Medicine, we’re hoping to be able to tap into their capital to find some of that coverage for us.”

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