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Pennsylvania health system completes hospital acquisition


WellSpan Health has welcomed Evangelical Community Hospital into the organization.

Less than four months after WellSpan Health announced plans to acquire Evangelical Community Hospital, the system says the deal is done.

Image: WellSpan Health

Roxanna Gapstur, president and CEO of WellSpan Health, left, and Kendra Aucker, president of Evangelical Community Hospital, hailed WellSpan's acquisition of the hospital.

As of Monday, Evangelical Community Hospital is now a part of WellSpan, as officials say regulators have finished reviewing the transaction. WellSpan first disclosed plans to acquire the hospital, its clinics and its outpatient locations in February.

The facility is now going to be known as WellSpan Evangelical Community Hospital. It is a 131-bed hospital based in Lewisburg, Pa., a community about 60 miles north of Harrisburg.

Roxanna Gapstur, president and CEO of WellSpan Health, cited the similar philosophies the system shares with Evangelical Community Hospital.

“The shared values and mission of the two organizations that have now become one align in ways that allow us to keep high-quality, community-based care at the forefront,” Gapstur said in a statement. “On our journey to reimagine healthcare we’re committed to innovative clinical care that works in concert with value and affordability to provide the best outcomes for our patients.”

Kendra Aucker, president of WellSpan Evangelical Community Hospital, also takes on a new title as senior vice president of WellSpan’s new North Region. She said joining WellSpan helps secure the hospital’s future.

"Our top priority has always been to preserve a vibrant healthcare system close to home," Aucker said in a statement Monday. “We’re excited for this opportunity to share expertise, research, and resources in new and mutually-beneficial ways.”

WellSpan officials noted that the hospital has received a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

With the deal, WellSpan says the system now serves more than 1.3 million patients in 12 counties. WellSpan operates eight hospitals and scores of clinics serving patients in central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.

WellSpan officials said there would be events to recognize the hospital becoming part of the system “in the coming days.”

Other Pennsylvania health systems have announced mergers and acquisitions in recent months.

Jefferson Health is planning to acquire the Lehigh Valley Health Network, creating a 30-hospital system that would serve the Philadelphia region and eastern Pennsylvania. The two systems announced in May that they have signed a definitive agreement to come together.

In June, UPMC announced that it has completed its acquisition of Washington Health System, which operates two hospitals in western Pennsylvania.

Penn Medicine said in January that it plans to acquire Doylestown Health, as Penn continues its expansion beyond Philadelphia and into the surrounding suburbs.

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