ANN ARBOR (WWJ) — The University of Michigan Health System and Jackson-based Allegiance Health Monday announced they had signed a letter of intent to affiliate, with Allegiance Health becoming a member of the UMHS network.

UM and Allegiance said the proposed affiliation would expand on existing collaborations between the two health systems. But they said full details of the affiliation would not yet be released, but would be announced “over the coming months … in consultation with key stakeholders and in compliance with regulatory requirements.”

Should the process conclude successfully, UM said Allegiance will become part of the University of Michigan Health System and of the University of Michigan.

“Together, UMHS and Allegiance Health will build on our non-profit legacies of quality care to provide even greater value to patients and sustainable health improvement for all, including underserved populations,” Allegiance Health president and CEO Georgia Fojtasek said in a statement. “In UMHS, Allegiance Health has found a partner that shares our commitment and vision. By joining one of the state’s premier health care systems, Allegiance Health is building on our long-standing commitment to become a more effective and efficient organization, resulting in even higher quality and cost-effective health care for our community.”

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., CEO of UMHS and executive vice president for medical affairs at UM, said ina statement that she believes the proposed relationship between Allegiance Health and UMHS will help patients receive care in the location best for them, which is often close to home.

“We know how important Allegiance Health is to the Jackson community, and how dedicated its staff and physicians are to the health of their neighbors,” she said. “Ultimately, our proposed partnership would provide enhanced and efficient care locally whenever possible.”

Allegiance Health and UMHS already successfully work together to provide high-quality radiation oncology services to cancer patients and heart care for both adults and children. A UM Medical School faculty member serves as medical director for the clinically integrated network that includes Allegiance Health and community-based physicians.

UM said the proposed affiliation will give Allegiance Health enhanced access to new technologies and better, data-driven care models, as well as provide for more efficient use of resources and more personalized care.

As part of the deal, UM committed to $100 million in new strategic initiatives investment at Allegiance Health over the next seven years, in addition to satisfaction of routine maintenance and replacement capital requirements.

Under the proposed new structure, Allegiance Health leaders and local community members will continue to represent local interests on governance committees and influence the future of Allegiance Health, together with leaders from UMHS.

The new proposed affiliation is the latest in efforts by UMHS to collaborate with other health systems across the state – though the proposed relationship with Allegiance Health would be the first time UMHS has sought to bring another health system entirely into its structure.

“Through these local partnerships, patients receive higher value, because they receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place, and in the most cost efficient manner,” says Pescovitz. (For information on other UMHS affiliations, see

UMHS includes the 990-bed hospital complex and 40 clinical care locations of the UM Hospitals & Health Centers, which attracts patients from every county in Michigan as well as from other states and nations. It also includes the UM Medical School with its 1,700-physician Faculty Group Practice, and numerous research laboratories and projects funded by more than $430 million in research grants.

Allegiance Health is a 480-bed community-owned health system in Jackson, Michigan. Allegiance complements traditional acute care services with mission-based services to support the care continuum for all members of the community. Allegiance Health was named among America’s 100 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades. As a recipient of the Healthgrades 2013 Patient Safety Excellence Award, Allegiance places within the top 5 percent of all hospitals for its excellent performance in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stay. As a recipient of the CareChex 2013 Patient Safety Award, Allegiance ranks in the top 10 percent in the nation for patient safety related to heart attack and heart failure treatment. More information at


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