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Committee approves plan to bring together Penn State Hershey and PinnacleHealth

The Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning today (Jan. 15) approved a plan to bring Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System together to form a new health enterprise. In doing so, the committee advanced a recommendation to the full University Board of Trustees to approve the plan. It is anticipated that the Board of Trustees will consider a motion to approve the plan at its meeting on March 20.

If approved by the Board of Trustees in March, the plan would still require approval from the state Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission.

The approval of the plan by the committee is the latest step in formal discussions to expand collaboration between the two health systems, which began in November 2013. In June 2014, Penn State Hershey and PinnacleHealth signed a letter of intent to bring their two systems and their joint venture, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, together into a new health enterprise.

This proposed collaborative and innovative enterprise would bring together a high-performing university medical center and a community health system known for its quality outcomes and patient-focused care. It would provide increased access to a wider range of services and full spectrum of care to patients over a broader geographic base.

The proposed new enterprise could fall under the umbrella of Penn State Health, a not-for-profit entity created by the University in September 2014.

Penn State Health was developed to enable the University to bring Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and its various health care services, including Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, Cancer Institute and Medical Group, as well as the Penn State Hershey Health System and its associated entities, together with other health care facilities. Such facilities could include hospitals, surgery centers, home health providers and similar organizations.

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