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BJC, Saint Luke's in Missouri complete $10 billion merger

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | January 09, 2024
Business Affairs
BJC Health System and Saint Luke's Health System have merged into a $10 billion enterprise. (Julie Quirin, Richard Liekweg, Nick Barto)
BJC Health System of St. Louis and Saint Luke’s Health System of Kansas City have completed their merger, starting off the new year as an integrated, $10 billion academic healthcare system in Missouri.

The two signed a letter of intent in May 2023 and reached a definitive agreement in November after completing the necessary regulatory reviews. Saint Luke’s officially became part of BJC on January 1, making it the owner of the top three and five of the top 10 hospitals in the state.

BJC, which has 24 hospitals and hundreds of clinics in Missouri, southern Illinois, and eastern Kansas, expects to be able to provide $1 billion in healthcare services annually to the broader geographic community it now serves. It will continue to be one of the largest employers in Missouri with a combined workforce of 44,000.

Through the merger, BJC will also oversee more than 3,500 clinical trials and provide researchers and physicians with increased opportunities for shared research, innovation, and clinical collaboration.

“By working together to deliver extraordinary clinical care and becoming the region’s premier destination to practice medicine, we will enhance patient care and accelerate medical breakthroughs,” said BJC chief executive officer Richard Liekweg, in a statement.

The organization will operate under the BJC HealthCare brand name in its eastern region and as Saint Luke’s Health System in the west, with patients in both areas experiencing no immediate changes in how they receive care, access their health records, or communicate with their medical teams.

Liekweg previously served as the CEO of BJC HealthCare, the brand name for the hospital’s eastern region. Nick Barto, who previously was executive vice president and chief financial officer for BJC HealthCare, has been appointed as BJC Health System president and the president of BJC HealthCare. Julie Quirin, who was senior vice president and chief operating officer of Saint Luke’s Health System prior to the merger, will serve as president of the western region.

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