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HUP is in trouble! Credit: Michael Chien

The University of Pennsylvania Health System will expand to serve more of New Jersey thanks to a merger with Princeton HealthCare System.

The Executive Committee of Penn’s Board of Trustees approved the partnership with PHCS — an organization which currently provides inpatient and outpatient care to more than 1.3 million people — in mid-December, in an agreement that satisfies both school’s medical centers.

“Aligning with PHCS will offer new opportunities for Penn Medicine to expand our services in New Jersey,” University of Pennsylvania Health System CEO Ralph Muller told Penn Medicine News.

Muller believes the merge will “enable a mutually beneficial relationship for patients by uniting options for close-to-home care with coordinated access to Penn Medicine’s world-class advanced medicine.”

PHCS President and CEO Barry Rabner also spoke positively of the partnership in a statement to PHCS news in July.

“Penn Medicine’s strong financial position and comprehensive scope of services will add to PCHS’ financial security and ability to enhance clinical programs and develop facilities to improve access to care and superior patient quality for the community we serve,” Rabner told PHCS news.

The Princeton HealthCare System, located 40 miles northeast of Philadelphia, is in a growing region of Central New Jersey. It includes a 429-bed hospital system that has won regional and national awards.

After considering other potential partnerships, PHCS decided to merge with Penn’s health system in part because of the organization’s abilities that have earned such accolades as recognition as an Honor Roll hospital in the U.S. News & World Report ranking for close to 20 years.

The two university health care systems signed a letter of intent last July to pursue a relationship.

Both Muller and Dean of Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine J. Larry Jameson declined to comment.