Altoona Regional Moves Forward with UPMC

Board approves non-binding letter of intent to negotiate an affiliation

ALTOONA – The boards of directors of Altoona Regional Health System and parent company Central Pennsylvania Health Services Corp. have signed a non-binding letter of intent to negotiate an affiliation with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), a world-class academic medical center.

UPMC was ranked No. 10 in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals in 2012 and No. 1 in Pennsylvania, with 15 adult specialty areas ranked for excellence.

The letter of intent follows the announcement in November of Altoona Regional’s decision to pursue affiliation talks with UPMC and is the result of comprehensive discussions held since then.

The signing means that Altoona Regional and UPMC have agreed to conditions of a prospective affiliation that would:

  • Secure and advance health care for Altoona and surrounding communities.
  • Enhance patient choice by strengthening and growing Altoona Regional’s tertiary care services for the region.
  • Support the entire Altoona Regional Health System with the financial resources necessary, in the face of health care reform, to continue providing advanced medical services for the region.

A due diligence period will follow. The next and final step in the process would be the signing of a definitive agreement to affiliate.

“This is an exciting and significant next step toward a formal affiliation between two outstanding medical institutions,” said Jerry Murray, president and chief executive officer of Altoona Regional.

“I am very pleased with the decision our community board members have made,” said Rob Halbritter, Altoona Regional board chairman. “UPMC shares our commitment to superior quality patient care and our vision for the future. An affiliation with UPMC will be extremely positive for Altoona Regional, our patients, and the entire region.”

“Altoona Regional and UPMC have had a longstanding and cooperative relationship,” said Elizabeth B. Concordia, executive vice president, UPMC, and president, Hospital and Community Services Division. “UPMC is committed to the continued growth and elevation of services at Altoona Regional Health System and to enhancing Altoona

Regional’s established role as the region’s leading tertiary care provider.”

For more than a year, Altoona Regional’s Board of Directors has been exploring an affiliation with a larger system that would offer opportunities to enhance and expand the exceptional care the health system provides, while addressing the significant challenges and financial pressures in health care today.

During this process, several potential partners shared with the boards their visions of the future of health care in Pennsylvania. The boards spent significant time evaluating how those visions fit with Altoona Regional’s own vision of being a world-class health care organization.

”UPMC was chosen because we are only interested in a relationship that will enable Altoona Regional to further enhance its quality of care and breadth of medical services,” said Murray, “while gaining new access to capital and outstanding technology, science, innovation and expertise.”

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