Press Releases

S&P, Moody's Give Atlantic Health System Highest Health System Rating in NJ


MORRISTOWN, NJ - Atlantic Health System, a leading health care delivery system in New Jersey, is once again the highest-rated New Jersey based system rated by credit agencies Moody’s and S&P.

Moody’s raised its rating for the health care organization from A1 to Aa3, the highest rating among all health care systems in New Jersey, with an outlook of “stable.” The rating upgrade reflects Atlantic Health System’s continued stability of operating performance and financial growth of the balance sheet, as well as its favorable market position and the “wide array” of services it provides.

S&P affirmed its “AA-“ rating for Atlantic Health System due to its strong presence in the region and increased system diversity among its six hospitals and a network of community-based physicians throughout northern and central New Jersey. Along with only one other organization, this is the highest rating given to health systems in NJ by S&P. Atlantic Health System’s outlook with S&P remained stable.

Sign Up for E-News

The ratings actions by both agencies put the system in a favorable position to leverage its credit strength and allows the system to issue or refinance its debt at more favorable interest rates. Atlantic Health System may pay less on interest on its bonds and allow the organization to invest more of its money in patient care initiatives, including technology, skilled staff and infrastructure.

“These ratings further demonstrate the value of developing our connections to the communities we serve through wise growth, investment in innovation and continuously improving care, said Kevin Lenahan, senior vice president and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for Atlantic Health System. “The rating upgrade puts us on even better footing to fulfill the health care needs of our communities.”

Moody’s also highlighted Atlantic Health System’s ability to reach agreements in many of its host communities on fair-share community contributions in response to municipalities’ review of the tax-exempt status of hospitals and other facilities.

“A key credit strength of the system speaks to management's ability to navigate recent state and local budget challenges quickly and proactively,” Moody’s said in its rating.

S&P highlighted “AHS’ focus is on continued development of population health infrastructure and strategies to drive growth to the organization.” This includes increased integration between owned and independent hospitals, Atlantic Medical Group, community based physicians, and payers.

The credit agencies noted the following among the reasons for Atlantic Health System’s enviable ratings and outlook:

  • -- Atlantic Health System is a large multi-site organization with more than $2.5 billion in revenue and 100,000 total admissions (including observation stays and admissions)
  • -- The strong presence of the system in the region, including the growth of the system. The agencies noted the acquisition of Hackettstown Medical Center in April 2016, as well as Atlantic Health System’s participation in the Mid Jersey Health Alliance with Hunterdon Healthcare System, which coordinates care and offers expanded clinical services in Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer, and Warren counties
  • -- The rapid growth and increased integration of Atlantic Medical Group, which now includes more than 900 community-based physicians and other providers
  • -- Continued growth in operating margins, cash measures and debt leverage measures

S&P noted Atlantic Health System’s significant additions of several key leadership roles covering patient experience, integrated care delivery, and innovations and technology following the addition of President and CEO Brian Gragnolati in 2015. The agency also highlighted Gragnolati recently being named chair-elect designate of the American Hospital Association. He will assume the board chairmanship in 2019.

Among other successes reported to the credit agencies has been the performance of the two accountable care organizations (ACOs) affiliated with Atlantic Health System – Atlantic ACO and Optimus Healthcare Partners. Both ACOs produced shared savings for Medicare.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


If You Can Answer "Yes" To Just One of These Questions Come to Morris County's Health, Fitness & Fun Fest This Sat. From 12 -3 p.m.

March 22, 2018

1. Are you ready to get out of the house and have fun?
Morris County's Health, Fitness & Fun Fest takes place Saturday, March 24, from noon - 3 at Randolph Middle School.

2. Do you have a soft spot for furry animals?
The Middle School PAWS Club ...

The 8th Annual Dodgeball Charity Challenge to Take Place Tuesday March 27 at Randolph High School

March 23, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ-The Dodgeball Charity Challenge  is RAM RAC's biggest fundraiser. 

With the money raised from ticket sales and team/player entry fees, RAM RAC makes monetary donations to the winning team's charity of choice, and uses the rest of the funds raised to help fund projects at the HS that benefit the physical welfare of not only the student-athletes, but all ...

Morristown Happenings: Things to do in Morristown this Weekend

March 10, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  It's been a rough week for residents due to power outages and storm related damages. Maybe a little distraction? Morristown has parades, dances, farmers markets, crafts, and much more this weekend.  


Friday March 9

Celebrate Dr. Seuss (rescheduled from 3/9); Morris County Library; Celebrity Readers from 3:30pm - 4:45pm

Morristown High ...

Distracted Driving Enforcement and Education Campaign UDrive. UText. UPay. to be carried out locally from April 1 – April 21

March 22, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ-- Law enforcement officers from the Randolph Police Department will be cracking down on distracted drivers during April as part of New Jersey’s UDrive. UText. UPay. enforcement campaign.

Beginning April 1 and running through April 21, the high visibility law enforcement initiative will target motorists who engage in dangerous distracted driving behaviors such ...

Randolph Seniors Assist in Student-Led "March for Our Lives" to Take Place in Morristown, Mar. 24

March 21, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Morristown and surrounding-area students are planning to participate in a movement called 'March for Our Lives' taking place on Saturday, March 24. Part of a nationwide movement to pass common-sense gun legislation in America, the students plan on gathering in several places across the state of New Jersey, including Morristown, Montclair, Maplewood, ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Primrose School of Randolph, Randolph

Open House


Sat, March 24, 6:00 PM

Mountain Lakes Club, Mountain Lakes

Lakeland Youth Symphony 60th Anniversary Gala

Arts & Entertainment

Randolph Speech and Debate Team Attend Harvard Invitational

March 15, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph Speech and Debate team drove up to Harvard to compete at the 44th Annual Harvard National Forensics Tournament on February 16-19. Bringing in its largest group of students in years, – around forty competitors – the team was quite successful. 

The Harvard invitational is the largest forensics tournaments of the season, bringing in hundreds of teams ...

Delayed Opening for Randolph Township Schools on Thursday

March 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph Township School District has announced  that all schools will have a 90 minute delayed opening due to the forecast for icy conditions.

Bus pickups will be delayed 90 minutes. 

This means that Randolph High School will start the day at 9 a.m., Randolph Middle School at 9:35 a.m. and Center Grove, Fernbrook, Ironia and Shongum ...

Randolph Athletic Hall of Fame Elects The Class of 2018

March 22, 2018

At its March meeting, the Randolph Athletic Hall of Fame Committee elected the following to be inducted as the Class of 2018.  The Induction ceremony will take place in October.  Exact dates and details will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

Male Athlete  Bill Cuff, wrestling, 1973
Male Athlete: Glenn Guerin, wrestling, 1973
Female Athlete: Janet Kerrigan, ...

Randolph Recreation Wrestlers Shine at NJ Kids State Championships

RANDOLPH, NJ- 9 Randolph Rec Wrestlers qualified for the NJ Kid’s Wrestling Championship Wrestling Tournament this weekend.

With 12 Wrestling Mats and 1000+ Wrestlers, this 2 day event in Trenton is considered one of the toughest in the country.

"The results below are monumental for any program or club and are a testament to ...

Spring Break Make- Up Day Planning Suggestion to Randolph Board of Education and Administration

March 19, 2018

As a former school administrator, I was in charge of making the school’s yearly calendar. 

I worked with the staff to determine the calendar each March for the coming school year.

Each year we including a statement explaining specifically, the manner in which snow days (over 4) would be made up.  

This method of planning provides the students, families, and staff with ...

CCM Cultivates Women in the Field of Horticulture and Landscape

March 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ —Men primarily work in the fields of landscape, design and maintenance. Change agents in the field, Brian Oleksak, chair of the Department of Landscape and Horticulture Technology (LHT), County College of Morris (CCM), and Susan Cohan, adjunct professor, and other LHT faculty are spearheading efforts for women to take advantage of the many opportunities these industries can ...

President of Randolph Chamber of Commerce One of Many To Be Honored at the Boy Scouts of America 23rd Annual Morris County Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner

WHIPPANY, NJ- Boy Scouts of America, Patriots’ Path Council will be honoring local community members at the Boy Scouts of America 23rd Annual Morris County Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner to be held on the evening of Thursday, April 19th at The Hanover Marriott in Whippany at 6:30 pm.  This year’s honorees are Reynaldo Caudillo, Bruce Jones, Michael Lupton, Ron Morano, Lou ...

Local Boy Scouts Invite Alumni to Gathering on March 19th

Were you a Cub Scout?  Did you earn the rank of Eagle Scout? Maybe you served as a volunteer at one point? Then this is the event for you.  All former Scouts and vounteers are welcome to attend the  Black River District Alumni Gatheirng. The event is hosted by the Patriots’ Path Council Alumni Committee and being held on Monday, March 19 at 7:00 pm at the Rockaway River Barn ...

Atlantic Health System’s Dr. Linda Gillam Recognized with American College of Cardiology’s Top Honor

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized Linda D. Gillam, MD, MPH, FACC, the Dorothy and Lloyd Huck Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at Morristown Medical Center/Atlantic Health System, with the 2018 Gifted Educator Award.

The Gifted Educator Award is presented to a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology who has demonstrated innovative, outstanding ...

Health Alert: Child with Measles Traveled to Newark Airport on March 12

TRENTON, NJ — If you were at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, March 12 between 12:45 and 9 p.m., you may have been exposed to measles and should contact your health care provider.

The N.J. Department of Health has issued a public health alert after a child with a confirmed case of measles — a highly contagious disease — arrived in Terminal B at Newark Liberty ...

National Student Walk Out: MCST Students Have Had #Enough

March 21, 2018

DENVILLE, NJ- On Wednesday March 14, nearly one million teenagers across the country stood up and walked out of school as part of a nationwide protest calling upon Congress to take action against gun violence. I am proud to have been one of them.

Undeterred by the small size of the school, my friends and classmates at Morris County School of Technology in Denville, NJ participated in the ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


National Student Walk Out: MCST Students Have Had #Enough

March 21, 2018

DENVILLE, NJ- On Wednesday March 14, nearly one million teenagers across the country stood up and walked out of school as part of a nationwide protest calling upon Congress to take action against gun violence. I am proud to have been one of them.

Undeterred by the small size of the school, my friends and classmates at Morris County School of Technology in Denville, NJ participated in the ...