The hospitals will keep their respective names on the building. Employees and patients won’t see any immediate changes. But six months after announcing their intentions to collaborate, Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health are combining forces under a new umbrella group called SolutionHealth, creating a nearly 500-bed regional health care system, one of the largest in the state.
During a press conference inside the Manchester Millyard Museum, leaders from Manchester-based Elliot Health and Nashua’s Southern New Hampshire said the new health system will seek to increase access to affordable care, while investing in new technologies. The new entity, they said, is a result of the rapidly changing healthcare landscape.
“I don’t think there is any hard and fast rule as to what changes will be made, and what time frame they’ll be made,” said Jim Hood, Board Chair of Elliot Health. “What we are trying to do is make sure we touch all the bases to determine a better way to bring medical care to our citizens in our various communities.”
The deal still needs approval from the state’s Attorney General. Earlier this year, Elliot Health and Lebanon-based Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the largest health network in the state, called off talks of a planned affiliation.
Elliot and Southern New Hampshire announced their interest in a partnership this summer, and held public listening sessions to gather community input. On Monday, leaders for the respective hospitals signed a binding combination agreement to form SolutionHealth as a non-profit organization, pending regulatory approval.
The new group would include board members from each of the hospitals, as well as a new CEO.
“I think if there is a tone that we’ve set for one another, it is to unify our efforts, but not to make them uniform,” said Elliot CEO Doug Dean.