OHSU, Legacy Health announce intent to merge

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Legacy Health announced Wednesday that they have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to combine their respective health organizations, the first step in a merger expected to close in 2024.

The two organizations said they plan to join to “create a comprehensive, integrated health system that will offer high-quality, essential health care service to patients throughout Oregon, the Pacific Northwest and beyond,” according to a joint news release. The two organizations said they hope to agree on final terms in the coming months and expect to close on the merger in 2024.

Together, OHSU and Legacy would have more than 32,000 employees and more than 100 locations, including 10 hospitals. It would be the largest employer in the Portland metro area, according to the joint news release.

“By joining forces, OHSU and Legacy are committed to attracting, engaging and supporting the region’s best health care workforce through investments in the tools, technologies, and education and development initiatives that are essential for the growth of our team members,” the two organizations said in Wednesday’s joint news release. “We will continue to support our valued employees and learners, all of whom play an important role in delivering exceptional care and service.”

As part of the agreement, once the merger is complete, OHSU has agreed to a capital commitment of about $1 billion over 10 years to “help the combined organization expand services,” while Legacy has agreed to direct its net cash on hand and investments (above the organization’s outstanding debt) to a new independent foundation that will “address critical community health care needs and disparities.” The specific amount Legacy will dedicate to the new foundation was not reported.

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