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Steward to merge Methuen and Haverhill hospitals

Steward Health Care System will merge two of its hospitals in northeastern Massachusetts next month.

Holy Family Hospital in Methuen is absorbing Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, which is about 10 miles to the northeast. Services will not change, and patients will not see any difference in care, Steward said.

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Starting Aug. 1, Merrimack Valley Hospital, which has about 125 beds, will operate under the same license as the 261-bed Holy Family Hospital. It will get a new name: Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley.

“After careful consideration, we determined that it is in the best interest of our patients, our employees and the surrounding communities to bring Merrimack Valley Hospital and Holy Family Hospital closer together,” Dr. Mark Girard, the president of Steward Hospitals, said in a statement.

Also, the Holy Family system will get a new chief executive, Joseph Roach. The 20-year hospital industry veteran most recently led Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence, Ala. Roach will begin Monday, replacing Lester Schindel, who resigned earlier this month.

Steward is a for-profit company that also operates community hospitals in Dorchester, Brockton, Taunton, Ayer, Stoughton, Norwood, Quincy, Fall River, and Brighton.

The Methuen and Haverhill hospitals already share an executive team and administrative functions. Steward spokeswoman Brooke Thurston said no layoffs are planned as a result of the merger.

PRIYANKA DAYAL MCCLUSKEY

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at priyanka.mccluskey@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.
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