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East Alabama Medical Center, Lanier Health Services to Merge

East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika and Lanier Health Services, in Valley, Ala., have signed a letter of intent to merge.

Under the agreement, a subsidiary of EAMC will assume all assets and liabilities of Lanier. Lanier will still own the George H. Lanier Memorial Hospital and all other facilities, but those facilities will be leased to EAMC's subsidiary and become operating entities under EAMC.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Both organizations expect the deal to close before the end of this year.

In a news release, Bill Scott, president of the board at Lanier, said the affiliation with EAMC "will be good for everyone" because it will keep healthcare local and streamline processes.

"As a rural hospital, Lanier often found itself at a disadvantage to larger, more well-capitalized healthcare providers," Mr. Scott said. "This affiliation will ensure that the primary delivery provider in the county will be able to compete with and provide the services the people deserve in a very challenging and ever-changing healthcare environment."

Lanier, located near the Alabama-Georgia border, includes a 115-bed acute-care hospital and a 103-bed skilled nursing home. The 377-bed EAMC is roughly 26 miles away from Lanier.

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