Jeramey Jannene

Froedtert To Merge With Fox Valley’s ThedaCare

Merger would create larger competitor in consolidation-driven health care space.

By - Apr 11th, 2023 04:10 pm
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert. File photo by Aalvarez89 / CC BY-SA (

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert. File photo by Aalvarez89 / (CC BY-SA)

Froedtert Health plans to merge with Fox Valley-based ThedaCare to create a new hospital system.

“Both of our organizations have deep, long-standing ties in the communities we serve. Our Wisconsin roots have been instrumental in building creative solutions to meet our communities’ health needs,” said Froedtert president and CEO Cathy Jacobson in a statement. “By coming together with the state’s leader in regional community health, our combined organization will be poised to meaningfully address health equity and disparities, enhance access to a broader array of services and make it easier for patients to navigate the health care system. The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) will continue to be an important partner in our work together.”

The two systems have signed a letter of intent to merge.

The organizations were already aligned on two partnerships announced in the past year. Last September 2022, the two announced a quarternary care partnership that focuses on providing advanced specialized care, including heart and lung transplants. Froedtert and MCW, in a $111 million partnership with ThedaCare, were also planning two new small hospitals, in Fond du Lac and Oshkosh. Announced in October, spring groundbreakings were planned for each facility.

“ThedaCare and Froedtert Health have a commitment to the people of Wisconsin,” said Dr. Imran Andrabi, ThedaCare president and CEO. “We are alike in many ways, and our leaders and our boards have long been asking how we can accelerate our work to make a positive and lasting impact on our state. We have a shared vision for what we can do together to improve the health and well-being of the communities and be proactive partners in health. We are eager to start exploring how we can build a healthier, brighter future for Wisconsin.”

In partnership with MCW, Froedtert Health operates Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa. The hospital is the only adult Level 1 Trauma Center in eastern Wisconsin and only academic medical center in the region.

Froedtert Health, which has 45 health centers and clinics, has approximately 15,000 employees and reported $3.3 billion of revenue in its last fiscal year. It operates 10 hospitals. ThedaCare, which has eight hospitals, has approximately 7,000 employees and reported revenue of $1.2 billion in its last year.

The merger would bolster both systems against leading competitors Advocate Aurora Health and Ascension. Advocate Aurora completed its merger with North Carolina-based Atrium Health in December. ThedaCare competitor Bellin Health, of Green Bay, merged with La Crosse-based Gunderson Health System in November.

The combined organization, subject to regulator approval, will be led by a new 18-member board. Jud Snyder, regional president of northern states with BMO Harris Bank and current chair-elect with Froedtert, will be the merged entity’s initial board chair. Jim Kotek, ThedaCare’s current board chair, will be the vice chair.

Jacobson will serve as the initial CEO of the combined organization and retire after a six-month transition period. She has led the organization since 2012. Andrabi will then become both president and CEO.

“Our organizations have a shared commitment to the people of Wisconsin,” said Kotek. “That commitment is reflected in our quality of care, community investments and organizational cultures. These tenets will be the bedrock of our successes as we move forward to combine our organizations.”

“By coming together with ThedaCare and continuing to invest in our partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin, we have the ability to offer every aspect of health care to our communities in a more seamless, coordinated approach,” said Jackie Fredrick, Froedtert’s current board chair.

The organizations said they hope to launch the combined system later this year. A full executive leadership team is still being developed.

Categories: Health, Weekly

2 thoughts on “Froedtert To Merge With Fox Valley’s ThedaCare”

  1. says:

    Another step towards monopolization of the health care system. Fewer choices, higher prices, worse service- modern “non-profit” health care.

  2. Marty Ellenbecker says:

    Turns out their real estate empire wasn’t a rainy day nest egg,
    or potential collateral. It was a hope chest.

    By the way we don’t have a consolidation-driven health
    care space. It’s a merger-crazed industry..

    Bigger is seldom better. It magnifies problems in general,
    but gives special emphasis to errors, neglect and stupidity.

    I was with Aurora, then Froedtert, both for years.
    Neither one was impressive.

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