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UF Health and Flagler Health+ work toward merger

UF Health Jacksonville hospital
UF Health

UF Health and Flagler Health+ are working toward a possible merger later this year.

The two health systems announced this week that they have entered into a nonbinding letter of intent that would make Flagler Health+ part of UF Health, the University of Florida's academic health center.

Flagler Health+ said it explored joining another health system to enhance local health care and expand access to care in the community. The health system decided on UF Health for its "innovative, high-quality, leading-edge care," benefiting residents of Flagler, St. Johns, Putnam, Clay and Duval counties, according to a news release.

“We envision a future where the services provided by Flagler Health+ meet all our community members’ needs. We are pleased with how our exploration is progressing and look forward to the possibility of making this vision a reality with the University of Florida,” Todd Neville, chairman of the Flagler Health+ board of trustees, said in the release.

Mori Hosseini, chair of the UF board of trustees, said UF Health is "reenergizing health care delivery throughout the state of Florida."

“We seek to transform lives, and plans like these are a step toward tackling patients’ greatest challenges and improving the health of our communities," Hosseini said.

UF Health employs more than 30,000 faculty and staff and operates 10 hospitals in Florida, including UF Health Jacksonville.

Flagler Health+ includes the 130-year-old Flagler Hospital, a 335-bed facility in St. Augustine.

Flagler Health+ and UF Health will begin a formal due diligence period to determine the details of a final agreement. A final decision is expected later this year.

The process will not affect daily operations, the health systems said.

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter, @rroguski.