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State approves Sherman-Advocate hospital merger

BOLINGBROOK – The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted Tuesday to allow independent Sherman Hospital to join the state's largest health-care system.

After the unanimous vote, Advocate Health System said it won't "assume liability for or otherwise guarantee Sherman’s outstanding debt."

"We anticipate that Sherman will benefit from refinancing its outstanding bonds with Advocate's AA rating," Advocate spokeswoman Stephanie Johnson said in an email to the Northwest Herald.

Elgin-based Sherman Hospital more than doubled its debt to $300 million to build its 255-bed hospital in Elgin in 2009, Crain's Chicago Business has reported.

Sherman will become Advocate Sherman Hospital. The deal is expected to close by June 1, according to a statement by Advocate Health System. Sherman's six other facilities also will take the Advocate name.

The move will extend Advocate Health's reach into McHenry County and the northwest suburban health-care market.

Officials at the two hospitals said the partnership will improve patient care, allow for reinvestment by reducing operating and capital costs, and "promote the transformation of care delivery from a volume to a value-based model," according to the statement.

“The coming together of one of the nation’s top community hospitals and one of the nation’s leading health systems is a big win for our community,” Rick Jakle, chairman of the Sherman Health Board of Directors, said in the statement.

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