Lifespan, Care New England, Brown sign agreement to create new health system

Alonzo Osche

PROVIDENCE — In a move that would profoundly transform the delivery of health care for many Rhode Islanders, Lifespan and Care New England on Tuesday announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to merge and join with Brown University to create an integrated, academic-based health system. The agreement is backed by […]

PROVIDENCE — In a move that would profoundly transform the delivery of health care for many Rhode Islanders, Lifespan and Care New England on Tuesday announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to merge and join with Brown University to create an integrated, academic-based health system.

The agreement is backed by considerable financial resources, with Brown committing to providing $125 million over five years in support of the new system. The university will also participate in a new governing board while playing “a key role in integrating medical education and research with clinical practice across the combined system’s hospitals,” according to the announcement.

Efforts to merge Lifespan, now the state’s largest health-care system, with Care New England, the second largest, date back years but negotiations have always dead-ended, sometimes amidst acrimony and finger-pointing. But newfound cooperation between the two organizations begun in the early days of the pandemic led leaders to try once again, with talks beginning late last spring.

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