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Emory, WellStar call off merger

Metro ATL

Emory, WellStar call off merger

Photo by Daniel Mayer. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Emory University Hospital. Photo by Daniel Mayer. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Emory University and WellStar Health Systems will not move forward with a planned merger.

Georgia-based WellStar announced on its website Tuesday that “after a few months of discussion and review with Emory University, the WellStar Board of Trustees has determined a new strategic direction. WellStar has declined to enter the next stage of discussions with Emory University. We respect Emory University as a leading, international academic medical center.”

The statement goes on to say, “As previously announced 18 months ago, WellStar is enacting its succession plan. Candice Saunders will assume the duties of president & CEO effective July 1, 2015, and Reynold Jennings will be named chief strategy officer.”

WellStar says Saunders will focus on building partnerships that emphasize WellStar’s role in all the communities it serves while maintaining its not-for-profit status.

It also notes, “As chief strategy officer to Saunders, Jennings will be a major force in WellStar’s new strategic direction exploring and launching new opportunities that will drive future growth and stability throughout the state of Georgia. During his four years as CEO of WellStar, Jennings has made a tremendous impact on WellStar and its communities. His visionary leadership has led to significant growth and innovation.”

Emory University released a much shorter statement, which said:

Emory University regrets that WellStar Health System has decided to discontinue our discussions and planning with them to create a new, unified health system.

Emory continues to believe that the proposed combination of Emory Healthcare and WellStar Health System would serve our communities well as a way to extend the benefits of our renowned academic medical center to a larger population of patients in Metro Atlanta, as well as the state of Georgia and beyond.

Emory Healthcare and its extraordinary physicians, nurses, and staff are committed to providing unparalleled care for patients at one of the world’s leading academic medical centers and will continue to thrive in serving our community and the world.

Dena Mellick

Dena Mellick is the Associate Editor of Decaturish.com.