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HealthEast and Fairview leaders agree to merger

Fairview and HealthEast have approved a merger deal that will finalize June 1, leaders from both organizations announced Tuesday.

The merger, which was first announced in March, will create one of the largest hospital systems in the state.

"Bringing Fairview and HealthEast together gives us the opportunity to create a world-class health system committed to serving our communities and the region," Fairview CEO James Hereford said in a statement.

In addition to the entire Twin Cities metro area, the combined system will also cover parts of greater Minnesota.

Hereford is expected to become the new system's CEO. HealthEast's current CEO, Kathryn Correia, would become the chief administrative officer.

HealthEast employs about 7,500 people and operates the Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury, St. John's Hospital in Maplewood and St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul. The health system also operates 14 clinics in the east metro.

Fairview is the larger of the two organizations with 26,000 employees. The Minneapolis-based chain also operates roughly 100 clinics, six local hospitals and the University of Minnesota Medical Center.

The merger would connect HealthEast's patients to the University's resources, and the company expects to add new services over time.

"As part of Fairview, we will be able to increase the value we provide to our employees, physicians, patients and their families," Correia said Tuesday.

The majority of the new organization's governing board will come from Fairview. Three of its members would come from HealthEast.

Company leaders said patients at both health systems will continue to receive the same care on June 1.

The HealthEast and Fairview name and logo will remain the same, according to HealthEast's website.