CARMEL, N.Y. - Two healthcare systems serving the Hudson Valley and Connecticut, including Health Quest, owners of Putnam Hospital Center, have merged to create a new network of more than 2,600 doctors serving 1.5 million patients.

In a statement released last week, Health Quest, owners of Putnam Hospital Center, and Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN), which owns Danbury Hospital, announced that they have combined to form a new nonprofit health system called Nuvance Health (pronounced NEW-vance). The new health system was created to provide communities across the Hudson Valley and western Connecticut with more convenient, accessible and affordable care.

What is Nuvance Health?

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Thirteen months after formally agreeing to create a new health system, Health Quest and WCHN have begun to operate as one organization after receiving the required federal and state (New York and Connecticut) regulatory approvals and support from patients, donors and business and community leaders.

Nuvance Health will be a nonprofit organization and will provide care to anyone, regardless of ability to pay.

Dr. John M. Murphy is the CEO of the new health system, and Robert Friedberg is its president. Previously, Murphy served as president and CEO of WCHN and Friedberg was president and CEO of Health Quest. The new organization’s board of directors includes diverse and equitable volunteer community representation: Health Quest and WCHN each nominated eight members.

The new health system will serve 1.5 million residents. It includes seven hospitals, more than 2,600 physicians and 12,000 employees. Projected annual revenue of the system is $2.4 billion.

Why was this new system formed?

The single, unified health system ensures that the communities served have access to the latest treatments, technology, services and top-notch physicians and care teams. “Our patients and communities are at the heart of efforts to form the new health system. We are steadfastly focused on how we can improve the health and well-being of the people we passionately serve,” Murphy said in the statement. “Through the new integrated health system, we will be able to attract top clinical talent in order to provide even more advanced, compassionate and collaborative care.”

The benefits of combining and creating the new health system include greater breadth of services, such as more specialty physicians and population health programs. Additional expected benefits include the use of data analytics to enhance quality and safety and improve health outcomes; and, growing medical education and learning to shape the future of medicine that best serves each community’s needs.

“By coming together, we will bring our communities more healthcare options through new programs and services, especially to help prevent disease and effectively manage chronic conditions, Friedberg said in the statement. “Our communities will also benefit from having greater access to specialists and the latest treatments, conveniently within one health system and close to home.”