Banner Health plans to strengthen its presence in the northwest Valley by merging with Sun Health.
The boards of directors for both non-profit organizations have approved a letter of intent that forms the framework for Sun Health to merge with Banner Health. The due-diligence process, including regulatory reviews, is expected to take six to nine months.
Banner Health already is the largest health care provider in both Maricopa County and Arizona, said Susan Edwards, president of the Arizona region for Banner Health.
The merger won’t have any effect on employees of both organizations in the Valley, she said
“We actually look at the merger as bringing together the best of the two operations,” Edwards said.
The merger will provide increased capital to expand Sun Health’s facilities and technology in the west Valley, she said.
Banner Health already has increased its investment in the East Valley with the addition of Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, Banner Children’s Hospital at Banner Desert Medical Center, and the expansion of Banner Baywood Medical Center, Edwards said.
“The community benefits we will be able to provide through this transaction are profound, as this proposal supports a vision of enhanced patient care in the west Valley that includes continued expansion of facilities, expedited acquisition of new technologies such as electronic medical records, and enhanced education and training opportunities dedicated to providing excellent patient care,” said Peter Fine, Banner Health’s president and CEO.
The Sun Health entities to join Banner Health include: Sun Health Boswell and Del E. Webb hospitals, Sun Health Research Institute, Sun Health MediSun, Sun Health Boswell Rehabilitation Center, Sun Health Residence for Alzheimer’s Care, Sun Health Residence for Special Adults, Sun Health Olive Branch Senior Center, Sun Health Community Education & Wellness Center and others. Sun Health Foundation, Sun Health Auxiliary and Sun Health Properties will remain independent.
“This merger is being pursued for very positive reasons — the desire to join with a well respected, locally based organization that shares our vision of enhanced services for the community’s overall benefit,” said Leland Peterson, Sun Health’s president and CEO. “It is critically important to meeting the challenges of the rapidly growing west Valley’s increased healthcare needs and fast-paced technological advances.”