Evanston-based NorthShore University HealthSystem is now a lot bigger.

The six-hospital north suburban chain on Wednesday announced the completion of its merger with Edward-Elmhurst Health, which has three hospitals in the south and west suburbs.

J.P. Gallagher, the head of NorthShore, becomes president and CEO of the merged system.

The combined $5 billion operation will be the third largest health system in Illinois, and will also have the second-largest physician network (6,000 doctors).

There are lots of other big numbers associated with the merger.  25,000 employees. More than 300 ambulatory care locations in six counties. Nearly 370,000 ER visits per year.

But one number which may stand out the most is this:  $100 million. That’s how much each of the partners, NorthShore and Edward-Elmhurst, will dedicate apiece for community investment funds.

Gallagher said “These funds will generate millions of dollars to enhance health and well-being, advance health equity, and support local economic growth.” 

Mary Lou Mastro, current president of Edward-Elmhust, is now the CEO of the South Region, which covers the E-E locations (Edward in Naperville, Elmhurst, and Linden Oaks Behavioral in Naperville).

The North Region is made up of the NorthShore facilities: Evanston, Glenbrook (Glenview), Highland Park, Skokie, Northwest Community (Arlington Heights) and Swedish (Chicago).

There are no current plans for a single corporate headquarters. Each region will retain its original office community.

The merged hospital system will also take on a new name for now.  It will be called “NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health” while, as a news release states, “a thoughtful approach to a new name and brand for the combined entity is under way.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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