A MERGER BETWEEN two individual health care giants have them coming together this week creating what will be the one of the largest health care system in the nation and the biggest in the state.Representatives from Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Health System on Tuesday put pens to paper to an agreement that, if approved by the state, would create a connecting series of medical facilities extending from north Jersey to the shore.The newly merged entity, a not-for-profit, will be known as RWJ Barnabas Health. The state Office of the Attorney General has to approve the deal before the merger can be finalized. Representatives from the health care companies are expecting the review to be completed sometime next year.If finalized, the new company is expected to have annual operating revenues of more than $4.5 billion, with 260,000 inpatient admissions, 2 million outpatient visits and approximately 700,000 emergency department visits and 23,000 births. There will be 30,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns, according to information provided by the health care systems.Barnabas operates Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, in Monmouth County. With the joining of the two systems it will have partners in Hudson, Essex, Union, Middlesex, Mercer, Somerset and Ocean counties. RWJ Barnabas Health will operate 11 acute care hospitals, three children’s hospitals, a pediatric rehabilitation hospital, a behavioral health center, ambulatory care centers, along with five fitness and wellness centers.Barnabas is the largest not-for-profit integrated health care system in the state. It currently has 21,000 employees, roughly 5,200 physicians and 500 residents.Robert Wood Johnson currently employees more than 12,000, and 3,250 in medical staff, generating $1.6 million in revenue annually.“The new health system will comprise effectively ever y clinical service from primary to advanced care and greatly strengthen our commitment to medical education and research,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, Barnabas Health’s president and chief executive officer.This deal will also allow for greater economies in scale while promoting the highest over an expanded geographical area, according to representatives. “Because our organizations have a shared vision for how health care should be delivered and our traditional service areas are complementary, we expect a smooth transition process,” said Jack Morris, chair of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital board of directors.This is the latest in a spate of mergers and coupling among health care providers in the state of late. This spring Meridian Health System, which operates Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, River view Medical Center in Red Bank and Bayshore Community Hospital, Holmdel, in Monmouth County alone announced it’s joining with the smaller Raritan Medical Center, in Middlesex County, and also merged with Hackensack University HealthSystems in separate deals. In April a Meridian executive said the current crop of joint ventures is precipitated by changes brought about by the federal Affordable Care Act and an evolving business paradigm in the health care industry.