CUMBERLAND — Western Maryland Health System is now officially UPMC Western Maryland, merging into the UPMC hospital network to ensure a future of high-quality patient care for communities in Western Maryland and the surrounding region for generations to come.

"Today marks the day of a new era of health care for Western Maryland and the surrounding region,” said Barry P. Ronan, UPMC Western Maryland president and CEO. “We are extremely pleased that our health system has joined one of the nation’s largest and most successful integrated healthcare providers and insurers."

“The integration of Western Maryland Health System and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will provide more resources for Allegany and Garrett Counties and the surrounding region," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a news release. "As a leader in value-based care delivery, this partnership will strengthen Western Maryland Health System's reputation as a destination for high quality health care.”

In 2018, WMHS and UPMC joined together in a clinical affiliation to work cooperatively to enhance healthcare services and to strengthen the delivery of quality care, transform care delivery and reduce the total cost of providing care in the community.

In March 2019, the Boards of Directors of both WMHS and UPMC signed a non-binding letter of intent to negotiate an affiliation agreement. Following a nine-month regulatory review and due diligence process by WMHS and UPMC, the boards co-signed a binding integration and affiliation agreement on Jan. 15, setting Feb. 1 as the target date for finalizing the affiliation.

“Throughout our research and discussions with UPMC, we became increasingly confident and excited about becoming part of a world-class academic medical center which shares our vision for providing quality patient care,” said Rolf Haarstad, chair of the WMHS Board of Directors. “Our mutual mission is to continue to bring cutting-edge, evidence-based medicine to patients close to home.”

“UPMC has a long, successful track record of affiliations with like-minded hospitals. We know how much this hospital means to the region, and we are thrilled that WMHS has chosen to join UPMC,” said Leslie C. Davis, senior vice president, UPMC, and executive vice president and chief operating officer, UPMC Health Services Division.

UPMC has committed to make certain capital investments to enhance services and upgrade facilities in the Western Maryland region.

These investments by UPMC, along with investments that the WMHS Foundation has made and continues to make, will help ensure that UPMC Western Maryland will continue to provide state-of-the-art, quality health care for residents as well as maintaining its position as one of the largest employers in the region for years to come.

The new affiliation does not affect patients’ insurance coverage. UPMC Western Maryland will continue to honor the contracts it has in place with regional and national insurers and has reaffirmed its commitment to continue working with multiple payers in the future.

The board of UPMC Western Maryland consists of 12 directors, including eight appointed by the current WMHS board and four designated by the UPMC board.

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