Emory, St. Joseph’s tie the knot

Emory and St. Joseph’s have closed their partnership deal.

The two Atlanta health care systems announced Tuesday that they have formed a joint operating company, effective Monday.

The arrangement gives Emory Healthcare a majority ownership of St. Joseph’s Hospital, with a 51/49 percentage split.

St. Joseph’s will retain involvement in governance of the joint operating company, including “super majority voting rights on issues critical to St. Joseph’s mission, values and Catholic religious and ethical directives,’’ the announcement said. The partnership has received the required regulatory approvals as well as approval from the Vatican.

The deal is part of a recent wave of consolidations among hospital systems across the state.

Now Emory operates hospitals in Midtown Atlanta, Johns Creek and the “Pill Hill’’ section of Sandy Springs, along with its Clifton Road facilities.

Emory turned a competitor for the heart surgery market into a partner by joining forces with St. Joseph’s, which is a major cardiac care player as well as Atlanta’s oldest hospital.

John T. Fox, Emory Healthcare president and CEO, said in a statement that the partnership “will enable us to expand services, facilitating broader patient access while providing a more cohesive experience through sharing electronic medical records.’’

Steve Eaton, chairman of St. Joseph’s Health System board of trustees, said that “joining these two organizations is a tremendous accomplishment and one that will benefit generations of Georgians for years to come.”

Another metro Atlanta hospital alliance came together this week, with Henry Medical Center officially becoming Piedmont Henry Hospital on New Year’s Day.

The Stockbridge facility is the fifth hospital in the Piedmont health system, which is a major competitor of Emory’s.