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Samaritan Regional Health System, University Hospitals to explore affiliation

Cleveland-based University Hospitals and Samaritan Regional Health System, based in Ashland, Ohio, have signed a letter of intent to integrate SRHS into the UH system.

SRHS decided to pursue the deal with UH after a year-long process of searching for a system to partner with. The recommendation to explore an affiliation with UH came from a special committee that included SRHS board and medical staff leaders with assistance from experienced healthcare consultants.

"We're committed to our community, to our staff, to our physicians and to our volunteers,” SRHS President and CEO Danny Boggs said in a statement. "Our committee came to the conclusion that a relationship with University Hospitals would best meet our goals to secure and expand the clinical services provided here in Ashland County; compete in the rapidly changing world of healthcare; provide financial stability for the long term; and improve the quality of care at Samaritan."

As part of the potential integration, UH, the second largest employer in Northeast Ohio, plans to make significant investments in SRHS "to enhance services and strengthen and grow the health system," according to a news release. Plans include expanding and adding new services at SRHS, recruiting new physicians and making capital investments such as upgraded equipment, services and technologies. UH will also bring new initiatives to SRHS, including accountable care organizations, the release reads.

The evaluation process for the integration is expected to take several months and to be completed by mid-year following final board and regulatory approvals, according to a news release.


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