December 22, 2014

Elyria
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University Hospitals, EMH merger effective Wednesday

EMH Elyria Medical Center, seen here in June, will be absorbed into the University Hospital system. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

In this image taken with a camera mounted on a drone, EMH Elyria Medical Center in downtown Elyria can be seen in June. The takeover by the University Hospitals medical system has been approved and the facility will be taking the UH name beginning with the new year. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

ELYRIA — EMH Elyria Medical Center will officially become University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center on Wednesday, now that University Hospitals has received final approval for a merger of the medical entities.

Plans to merge Parma Community General Hospital and EMH Healthcare into the Cleveland-based UH system were announced in June, but the medical entities were awaiting final approval from government regulators.

Each hospital conducted a thorough evaluation to determine the benefits of joining the UH system and arrived at unanimous decisions for integration, according to a University Hospitals news release.

The name changes represent a full integration of the facilities, including its assets, into UH.

As part of the changes, Parma Community General Hospital will become University Hospitals Parma Medical Center.

UH will work closely with the physicians and leadership to bring investments and cost efficiencies, including upgrades to facilities, equipment, services and technologies at both entities, the release said. Plans are also under way to provide clinical research and technology to the facilities with UH’s Case Medical Center.

Additional commitments will bring programs from UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and UH Seidman Cancer Center to UH Elyria, making it their flagship Lorain County hospital.

There will be no changes in management at the Elyria facility, according to UH spokesman George Stamatis.

“Meeting our community’s health care needs has been an unwavering commitment of University Hospitals since our founding in 1866,” Thomas F. Zenty III, CEO of University Hospitals, said in the news release. “Joining with these hospitals will provide western Cuyahoga and Lorain counties the best opportunity to strengthen and improve the health of their communities for years to come. We look forward to connecting with their medical staffs in supporting the communities’ focus on prevention and wellness, and to provide the highest quality medical care for patients.”

EMH officials declined to comment on the merger, directing all inquiries to UH on Friday.

In June, EMH representatives said the need to partner with UH stemmed from continued changes in the health care industry, such as changes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would make it nearly impossible for a hospital of EMH’s size to stay competitive.

After UH and EMH Healthcare announced plans to merge, UH announced another partnership to launch Rainbow Pediatric Emergency Services at Lorain’s Mercy Regional Medical Center and Oberlin’s Mercy Allen Hospital. The partnership would give children access to Rainbow pediatric specialists and pediatric experts for follow-up care.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.