Sacred Heart HealthCare System officially became part of St. Luke’s University Health Network after the merger received regulatory approval in February, St. Luke’s said in a news release Thursday.
The boards of both organizations unanimously approved the merger in September.
John Nespoli, Sacred Heart’s president and CEO, will continue to lead St. Luke’s Sacred Heart as president.
The financially struggling Sacred Heart, which has about 1,100 employees, joins one of the two largest health care networks in the region. St. Luke’s now has 10 hospitals, 315 outpatient sites and 14,000 employees in 10 counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In January, St. Luke’s completed its merger with Blue Mountain Health System, which includes Gnaden Huetten and Palmerton hospitals in Carbon County.
“Together, we will work closely with our newest partner to expand access to quality health care services for the citizens of downtown Allentown and the surrounding community,” Rick Anderson, president and CEO of SLUHN, said in the release.
St. Luke’s officials have send they plan to spend $20 million to upgrade Sacred Heart and bring it to fiscal health.
Under the terms of the deal, Sacred Heart Hospital, which has been renamed St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus, will retain its Catholic identity, which means its services are based on the religion’s ethical and religious directives.
Anderson thanked Nespoli for his leadership and service at Sacred Heart.
“Steeped in the Catholic ethos of caring for others, John’s commitment to Sacred Heart’s legacy in Allentown will serve both St. Luke’s and the community well,” he said.