U of C Medicine, Ingalls to pursue merger

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University of Chicago Medicine and Ingalls Health System on Thursday announced plans to merge operations.

Harvey-based Ingalls has been looking for a partner since the spring.

“Through this partnership, Ingalls will be able to invest in our facilities and enhance our technologies at an accelerated pace, which will help us continue our focus on providing innovative services and a strong regional network of top-rated outpatient services close to home,” Ingalls president and CEO Kurt Johnson said in a news release.

The Ingalls Health System board voted Thursday to enter exclusive negotiations with U of C Medicine. Doctors and staff were informed Thursday morning.

A merger could be completed by late spring or early summer 2016, the two groups said.

“This partnership between UChicago Medicine and Ingalls underscores our commitment to improving health and access to quality care in our communities,” Dr. Kenneth S. Polonsky, executive vice president of medical affairs and dean of the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago, said in a news release.

Ingalls operates a 473-bed hospital in Harvey, a network of outpatient centers, urgent care centers and a network of more than 450 doctors.

U of C Medicine includes the main medical campus in Hyde Park, outpatient facilities as well as a physicians network.

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