Altoona Regional Health System near deal for UPMC affiliation

The board of directors of Altoona Regional Health System and parent company Central Pennsylvania Health Services Corp. signed a nonbinding letter of intent to negotiate an affiliation with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, according to a news release Monday.

Altoona Regional said the measure 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 and support the hospital financially in the face of health care reform, according to the release.

A due diligence period will follow, and the final step would be the signing of a definitive agreement to affiliate, according to the release.

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

“Altoona Regional and UPMC have had a longstanding and cooperative relationship,” said Elizabeth 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.”