Northside Hospital and Gwinnett Health System have filed for state approval of a merger they began discussing in 2015.

The new five-hospital healthcare system would be anchored by Northside’s main hospital on Johnson Ferry Road in Sandy Springs’ Medical Center area and by Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville. It could be operational by early next year, according to Northside.

A publicity photo of Northside Hospital.

No changes in facilities or services at Northside are expected if the merger happens, according to Northside spokesperson Katherine Watson.

The combined systems would have 1,479 hospital beds, nearly 21,000 employees, and 3,500 staff physicians, according to a press release. It would include a large number of medical offices around metro Atlanta.

Northside currently operates two other hospitals in Cherokee and Forsyth counties, as well as more than 150 medical offices. Northside is currently expanding its Sandy Springs hospital with an 8-story bed tower and a 10-story parking garage.

Gwinnett Health System includes two hospitals in Duluth and Lawrenceville, as well as many other surgical, rehabilitation and outpatient facilities.

John Ruch

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