Merrimack Valley Hospital and Nashoba Valley Medical Center to Join Steward Health Care

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Merrimack Valley Hospital and Nashoba Valley Medical Center to join Steward Health Care

BOSTON, MA – December 9, 2010 – Today, Steward Health Care System LLC (Steward) announced an agreement to acquire Essent Healthcare’s Merrimack Valley Hospital (MVH) and Nashoba Valley Medical Center (NVMC).  The agreement calls for the assets of MVH and NVMC to be acquired by Steward Health Care to expand its community-based accountable care organization.  In addition to the acquisition:

  • Steward will provide capital for ongoing clinical and infrastructure projects.
  • Steward will preserve jobs and maintain the current management teams at both MVH and NVMC.
  • Steward will maintain the current levels of free care and community benefits at NVMC and MVH.
  • Employees at MVH and NVMC will maintain their current salary and benefit levels.
  • Steward will maintain and continue all of the current clinical programs and services at each hospital, including inpatient behavioral health programs.
  • Joining Steward will give patients at MVH and NVMC access to a large, local network of primary care physicians and specialists.

“This acquisition is an important step as we continue our dedication to building a community hospital based, accountable care organization,” said Ralph de la Torre, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Steward.  “Our communities deserve the finest quality care delivered locally, amongst their family and friends.”

The acquisition of MVH and NVMC by Steward will give their physicians and patients access to the latest clinical technology, and a large integrated community network.  In addition, their physicians, nurses and patients will benefit from a capital infusion that will upgrade the facilities where they work and receive care.  As a result of this acquisition, the communities of Haverhill and Ayer will continue to receive tax revenue from both MVH and NVMC and benefit from additional capital investment in these two facilities. 

Most importantly, joining Steward will provide long-term stability to these hospitals and ensure they continue to provide high-quality medical care and employment opportunities in their communities.

“The hospitals managed by Steward provide outstanding medical care to the people of Massachusetts,” said Mike Browder, Chief Executive Officer of Essent Healthcare. “We believe our agreement with Steward gives Nashoba Valley Medical Center and Merrimack Valley Hospital the best opportunity to continue to provide exceptional care to the people in their communities.”

As a result of the transaction, both MVH and NVMC will benefit from the completion of key initiatives, several of which are already underway.  These include:

  • deployment of electronic medical record systems for physicians;
  • implementation of advanced clinical and physician order entry systems at MVH and NVMC;
  • creation of a community-based regional health information organization;
  • deployment of  a fully-integrated patient portal;
  • enhancement of case and care management programs; and
  • implementation of disease prevention programs. 

About Steward Health Care

Steward Health Care is a community-based accountable care organization and the parent company of Caritas Christi Health Care.  Headquartered in Boston, Steward has more than 13,000 employees serving more than one million patients annually in 85 communities.  Hospitals in the system include Saint Anne’s in Fall River, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Norwood Hospital, Carney Hospital in Dorchester, and Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton.  Other Steward Health Care entities include Steward Physician Network, Caritas Hospice and Home Care, Laboure College, and Por Cristo.  Further information is available at

About Essent Healthcare
Essent Healthcare was founded in 1999 with the mission of acquiring community hospitals and providing them with the financial resources and the expertise they need to grow. Essent hospitals include Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, Mass., Sharon Hospital in Sharon, Conn., Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, Mass., Southwest Regional Medical Center in Waynesburg, Pa., and Paris Regional Medical Center in Paris, Texas.


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