Newswise — Hackensack Meridian Health is pleased to report that Standard & Poor's Global Ratings has made several positive upgrades to the bond ratings of Hackensack Meridian Health entities. Legacy Meridian Health System has been upgraded from an 'A' to an 'A+' on its fixed rate bonds with an outlook of stable. Hackensack University Medical Center has been upgraded from 'A-'to 'A+', also with an outlook of stable. In addition Standard &Poor's Ratings Services raised its rating on bonds issued for Palisades Medical Center to 'A-' from 'BBB-', also with a stable outlook. The upgrade on Palisades reflects three notches of group support provided by the 'A+' ratings of HackensackUMC and Meridian Health.

“According to the S&P Global Ratings credit analyst, the upgrades reflect the strong combined enterprise and financial profile of our newly created network as well as our vision for the future,” said Robert C. Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.

“The ratings substantiate our healthy position in the market and our outlook for continued clinical integration, growth and innovation.”To the community at large, these ratings by Standard & Poors are validation that Hackensack Meridian Health is operating in a financially responsible manner, which allows for continued investments in people, technologies, programs, research and facilities.

“Just a month into our merger and our organization is already bringing value to our patients and communities through our shared resources, governance and plans for clinical integration, “ says John K. Lloyd, co-CEO, of Hackensack Meridian Health.

“Even our newer facilities, such as Raritan Bay and Palisades, and their surrounding communities are benefitting from accessing resources that would not typically be available to smaller community hospitals.”

S&P noted that Hackensack Meridian Health‟s broad footprint provides an operating and financial cushion for future initiatives, including a joint venture with Seton Hall University to open a new private medical school and the network‟s development of an integrated electronic health record. S&P commented on the combined strengths of a strong continuum of care coupled with breadth and depth of clinical services as contributing to the organization‟s stable operations.

“This is, indeed, one more positive milestone on our journey together as Hackensack Meridian Health,” added Garrett.

About Hackensack Meridian HealthHackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey,offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children‟s hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 120 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services,lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The Network‟s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America‟s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the number one hospital in New Jersey as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune‟s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

The hospitals of Hackensack Meridian Health include: academic medical centers -HackensackUMC in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune;children‟s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children‟s Hospital in Hackensack, K.Hovnanian Children‟s Hospital in Neptune; community hospitals - Ocean MedicalCenter in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, HackensackUMC Mountainside in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley in Westwood.

To learn more, visit