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UPMC Officially Takes Over Altoona Regional Health System

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Effective today, Altoona (Pa.) Regional Health System has merged with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is now known as UPMC Altoona.

The announcement culminates almost two years of merger discussions. UPMC has pledged to make $250 million over 10 years in capital commitments to Altoona, which will upgrade facilities, bring in new technology and help with physician recruitment. UPMC has also taken on all of Altoona's debt and will donate $10 million to the hospital's nonprofit foundation.

A new board will oversee UPMC Altoona. Two-thirds of the board will consist of former Altoona Regional board members, while the final third is UPMC-appointed members.

The merger between the two organizations was praised and criticized by many within the region. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania was one of the most outspoken critics, saying the merger lacked transparency and could negatively affect Altoona-area patients with Highmark insurance.

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