• The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council this week named Daniel Yunker as its president and CEO effective Sept. 30. He was the association's senior vice president. Yunker will succeed Kevin Scanlan, who retired after 26. The association serves more than 170 hospitals and health care organizations in the Chicago area.
• Kevin Counihan, who was the head of Connecticut's health insurance marketplace, is now CEO of healthcare.gov, the website that 36 states use to sell insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
• Advocate Health Care, Chicago, and NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Ill., will combine operations to create a16-hospital, $6.8 billion system to be named Advocate NorthShore Health Partners. When the merger is complete, ANHP will be the largest integrated health care delivery system in Illinois and the 11th largest nonprofit health care system in the United States, with 45,000 employees and 4,438 hospital beds, and about 3 million patients annually. The affiliation agreement outlines plans to consolidate balance sheets and the board of directors, and create a unified mission, vision and strategy. Jim Skogsbergh and Mark Neaman will serve as co-CEOs until Neaman's planned retirement in two years, at which time Skogsbergh will become sole CEO. The agreement is subject to multiple regulatory approvals. Closing is expected in early 2015.
• The merger of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare Chicago and Cadence Health in suburban Chicago took effect in September. The integrated system will be branded Northwestern Medicine and will comprise four acute care hospitals, 1,600 inpatient beds, more than 60 sites of care, 19,500 employees and 4,000 physicians. Northwestern CEO Dean Harrison is CEO of the new entity and Cadence Health CEO Mike Vivoda is Northwestern regional vice president. John Orsini, Cadence chief financial officer, becomes Northwestern CFO and Cadence's Liz Rosenberg is senior vice president of strategy for the new system.
• Lodi (Calif.) Health signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Adventist Health, Roseville, Calif. Lodi has a hospital with 191 licensed beds. Adventist has 14 hospitals, more than 230 clinics, 14 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.
• Palisades Medical Center signed a letter of intent to join Hackensack (N.J.) University Health Network. Palisades will remain an acute care hospital, known as HackensackUMC Palisades. This joint partnership is expected to be finalized later this.
• In Michigan, the merger of Oakwood Healthcare in Dearborn and Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills and the Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak became official in September. The nonprofit, $3.8 billion dollar combined system is called Beaumont Health. It includes eight hospitals with 3,337 beds and has 33,093 employees.
• Sylvania Franciscan Health and Catholic Health Initiatives, Englewood, Calif., signed a definitive agreement to transfer sponsorship of SFH from the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, to CHI. The transfer is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. SFH includes Franciscan Living Communities in Kentucky and Ohio, St. Joseph Health System in the Brazos Valley region of Texas, Trinity Hospital Twin Cities in Eastern Ohio, and the Trinity Health System Region joint venture in Eastern Ohio near the West Virginia border.
• Methodist Health System has joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Methodist physicians will now be able to collaborate with Mayo Clinic on patient care, community health and innovative health care delivery. The Mayo Clinic Care Network represents nonownership relationships between Mayo Clinic and network members. The network, which began in 2011, now has 31 members that extend to 18 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Mexico.
• Central Georgia Health System, Macon, Ga., changed its name to Navicent Health. The new name is intended to symbolize the system's "commitment to assist patients as they navigate the path of care, while keeping patients at the center of every decision." The Medical Center of Central Georgia is now called Medical Center, Navicent Health.
• Alegent Creighton Health and other CHI facilities in Nebraska now operate under the name CHI Health. The system includes hospitals and clinics covering Nebraska, southwest Iowa and north Kansas.
• Dayton (Ohio) Children's Hospital broke ground in August on a 260,000-square-foot patient care tower as part of a $141 million campus renewal. The tower will include a comprehensive cancer and blood disorders center that combines inpatient and outpatient care and a Level III regional newborn intensive care unit. Danis Building Construction Co. will manage the construction and FKP Architects will lead the development of the long-range plan, Ruetschle Architects & Champlin Architects have teamed up to act as the local architectural groups for the project.