northside hospital logoNorthside Hospital, whose system includes a hospital in Sandy Springs’ Pill Hill area, and Gwinnett Medical Center today announced that they are considering a merger.

The proposed Northside-Gwinnett Medical combined system would have nearly 1,400 beds, more than 16,000 employees and close to 3,500 physicians on staff, according to a press release. The deal is still in an exploratory phase and would require regulatory approvals.

“Northside and Gwinnett Medical Center already are geographic neighbors, and together we will serve one of the fastest-growing markets in the country,” said Northside CEO Bob Quattrocchi in the press release.

The organizations are aiming to finalize a deal by early next year, the press release said.

The Northside Hospital health care system is an 852-bed, not-for-profit health care provider with more than 150 locations across Georgia. That includes hospitals on Johnson Ferry Road in Sandy Springs and in Cherokee and Forsyth Counties.

Gwinnett Medical Center operates hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth. It is part of parent company Gwinnett Health System, which also includes Gwinnett Medical Group and Sequent Health Physician Partners.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.