NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth and its affiliates will become a part of RWJBarnabas Health under a recently signed letter of intent. 

According to a press release issued Thursday, the non-binding letter of intent is the first step toward RWJBarnabas Health acquiring the 554-bed, Catholic, acute care teaching hospital located in Elizabeth.

The non-binding letter of intent sets forth a basic structure for the proposed transaction and puts the institutions on a path toward reaching a definitive agreement, expected before the end of the year, according to the press release.

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Trinitas and RWJBarnabas will start the "process to define the specifics of the relationship."  Approvals will be necessary from state and federal officials, the Catholic Church and others before the transaction is considered complete, officials said.

RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s most comprehensive academic health care system with a service area of nine counties covering five million people.  The system includes 11 acute care hospitals, three acute care children’s hospitals, and a pediatric rehabilitation hospital, among many other facilities.  RWJBH has a partnership with Rutgers University, creating New Jersey’s largest academic health care system.

Trinitas provides more than 400,000 patient contacts per year and renders care throughout the state. Trinitas was created by a merger in 2000 between Elizabeth General Medical Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital.

Under the terms of the letter of intent, the role of Trinitas as a full-service provider of acute health care services for the eastern Union County community will be enhanced.  RWJBH will make significant investments in Trinitas and will expand the network of outpatient services currently provided by Trinitas, resulting in an even higher level of care for the community. 

Under the terms of the proposed transaction, RWJBH will become the sole member (i.e., corporate parent) of Trinitas.  However, Trinitas will remain a Catholic institution and will abide by the Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives.  The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth will continue to serve as the Catholic sponsor of Trinitas, and the Elizabethtown Healthcare Foundation will continue to address the needs of non-profit organizations in Union County, including RWJBH/Trinitas.  The Trinitas Board will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of Trinitas.

The letter of intent states, in part: “The parties have been in discussions for some time and share a common perspective and culture regarding providing high quality, cost-effective services to their communities consistent with their respective missions and the need to move in the direction of population health management.”

 According to Gary S. Horan, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Trinitas, “I see our eventual move into the RWJBarnabas Health system as an extremely positive and exciting development for our institution – one that will give us the resources and opportunities to greatly enhance the already high level of care we provide to our community.”

Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of RWJBarnabas Health, stated, “The rapidly changing health care landscape presents new challenges and opportunities. Trinitas is a vital resource to the eastern Union County community, and through this agreement, we would greatly expand our reach into new communities with our mission of improving the health and well-being of its residents.  We are excited about the many possibilities for collaboration signaled by this Letter of Intent.”