NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Hospital and the Western Connecticut Health Network have signed an affiliation agreement that paves the way for the two to merge.
WCHN operates Danbury and New Milford hospitals, and the affiliation agreement means that a total of 784 beds between the three hospitals will be under the oversight of a single board of directors.
The deal must still receive regulatory approvals, so officials do not expect the affiliation to take effect until later this year. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Since we announced our exploration of this collaboration in April, we have spent nine months considering the benefits of working together to create a new picture of health for our communities in Western Connecticut,” said John Murphy, M.D., president and CEO of WCHN, in a statement. “We each bring strong legacies in not-for-profit, community-based care to our shared goal to be a beacon of quality care in an ever-changing health care landscape.”
“From the first day our new organization begins, people who know each organization will immediately experience the benefits of our collaboration,” said Dan DeBarba Jr., president and CEO of Norwalk Hospital, in a statement. “Together we will offer easier access to more resources to help people lead healthier lives.”
Murphy will lead the new organization, officials said. DeBarba will remain president and CEO of Norwalk Hospital, and he will become executive vice president of WCHN. Erv Shames, who currently serves on the Norwalk Hospital board, will become chairman of the new board of directors.