New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer will soon be taking over three Hudson Valley hospitals.

An announcement was officially made this week that Northwell Health will be acquiring Nuvance Health. Nuvance currently operates Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck and Putnam Hospital in Carmel. The company also has a footprint in Connecticut where it runs hospitals in Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Sharon.

Changes Coming to Vassar Brothers, Northern Dutchess and Putnam Hospitals

In an announcement about the merger, Northwell Health says that "significant" changes will be made at Vassar, Northern Dutchess and Putnam hospitals. Michael Dowling, the president and CEO of Northwell Health, says that Northwell's mission mirrors Nuvance's pledge to provide "high-quality care for patients in the communities we serve".

Poughkeepsie New York Dutchess County
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During a joint press conference with Dowling, current Nuvance president and CEO, John Murphy, revealed that the merger will allow the Hudson Valley hospitals to make "significant improvements".

Will Vassar Brothers Medical Center Return to Its Former Glory?

Vassar Brothers Hospital, which was once the benchmark for medical care in the Hudson Valley currently holds a two-star rating on Yelp. While patients used to proudly exclaim "Take me to Vassar", many now share anecdotes of frustrating issues stemming from understaffed and overworked employees. Some blame management issues and the investment in an eight-floor, 752,000-square-foot patient pavilion that was estimated to have cost up to $600 million to build.

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While patients continue to complain about service, Vassar Brothers Medical Center was still named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for 2024. According to Healthgrades, Vassar is in the top 1% in the nation "for providing the highest clinical quality year over year."

The same study shows that Vassar also has a lower-than-normal patient rating with only 66% of patients who say they would "definitely recommend" the hospital to others. The number of patients giving the hospital a 9 or 10 rating is also 10% lower than the national average.

Nuvance says the new agreement would "increase the opportunity to attract and retain top talent". A press release says that physicians, nurses, and surgical and research specialists will have more "growth opportunities" under Northwell's ownership.

Merger Creating Massive Health Network

Before it announced acquiring Nuvance, Northwell Health was already New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer. The company operates 21 hospitals, and 900 outpatient facilities while employing more than 12,000 affiliated physicians.

Murphy promises that by joining forces with Northwell Health, Nuvance will be able to increase the "quality, accessibility and equity" of the health care its hospitals provide.

The merger between Nuvance and Northwell will still need to go through the necessary regulatory approval before being finalized.

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Gallery Credit: Megan