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Washington Health System, UPMC planning to merge

Washington Health System, UPMC planning to merge
Washington Health System, UPMC planning to merge 00:24

WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) -- Washington Health System is planning on merging with UPMC. 

The two health systems' boards of directors signed a non-binding letter of intent to negotiate an affiliation agreement that would integrate WHS into UPMC. WHS said its board of directors met on June 1 and unanimously voted to pursue affiliation discussions with UPMC. 

Late last year, WHS said the board submitted a request for proposals to affiliate with a larger health care provider.

"Our primary focus is to ensure the residents of Washington and Greene Counties have local access to high-quality health care that is sustainable into the future," said Brook Ward, president and CEO of WHS in a press release. "After careful consideration and analysis, we believe the best path forward is to affiliate with UPMC to achieve that goal."

Over the next several months, the two health systems will work towards a definitive agreement. 

Washington Health System said it employs more than 2,000 medical professionals and in addition to its hospitals in Washington and Waynesburg, it provides clinical care at more than 40 off-site locations throughout three counties. 

UPMC has 95,000 employees, including more than 5,000 physicians, and provides care across 40 hospitals and 800 doctors' offices. UPMC Insurance Services also covers 4.5 million members. 

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