NAPERVILLE, Ill. and ELMHURST, Ill., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Two of Illinois' preeminent healthcare providers, Edward Hospital & Health Services and Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, today announced plans to merge to become one of the larger integrated health systems in the state. The proposed merger would create a three-hospital health system – Edward, Elmhurst Memorial and Linden Oaks at Edward – with revenues of more than $1 billion and more than 50 locations across a service area of 1.7 million residents. The system would employ nearly 7,600 and have more than 1,680 physicians on staff. Last week the parent boards of each entity agreed to enter into a Letter of Intent to merge. Before the merger can be finalized, Edward and Elmhurst Memorial will complete the normal due diligence review process in the coming months. Certain aspects of the proposed merger also are subject to state and federal regulatory review. Once approved, the merger could be completed in mid-2013. The Letter of Intent also provides for Edward President & CEO Pam Davis to be named CEO of the new health system upon completion of the merger. "With this transaction we can assure residents of our local communities that we will preserve both Edward and Elmhurst Memorial as vital healthcare resources for years to come," said Pam Davis. "The delivery of healthcare is changing rapidly. Hospitals are under tremendous cost pressure while being asked to take a much more active role in managing the overall health of patients. Together, Edward and Elmhurst can enhance the quality and cost effectiveness of healthcare while still maintaining our strong local community focus." Peter Daniels, President & CEO of Elmhurst Memorial, said, "Edward is a great fit with Elmhurst because of our similar patient-centered and physician-driven cultures, our wide range of services, our shared commitment to providing high quality care, and our complementary service areas. We'll be big enough to offer a wide variety of locations and the latest services across a wide geography, and nimble enough to provide for, and react to, the local needs of our communities." The merger will build upon the success of Illinois Health Partners – Edward's partnership with DuPage Medical Group and many independent physicians – to jointly manage the care of nearly 100,000 HMO patients in the region. DuPage Medical Group has more than 370 physicians, including a strong presence in the communities also served by Elmhurst Memorial and Edward.