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State

Edward, Elmhurst explore health system merger

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Naperville-based Edward Hospital and Health Services has signed a letter of intent to merge with Elmhurst-based Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare.

The two health systems in Chicago's western suburbs announced the deal Tuesday. The proposed merger is subject to review by state and federal regulators.

Edward Hospital CEO Pam Davis would be the chief executive of the new system, which would have more than $1 billion in annual revenues.

Both entities are acknowledging Elmhurst Memorial has debt because of hospital construction expenses in 2011. A joint statement says the merger would lead to growth and more efficiency, adding that "last year was Edward's best financial year ever."

The merger could expand Edward's partnership with DuPage Medical Group, which includes more than 370 physicians.

Economic pressures are prompting hospital consolidations nationwide.

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