JACKSON, Mich. (AP) – Plans are moving forward for Jackson-based Allegiance Health to join Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System as part of a new affiliation agreement.

The health systems announced Monday that their boards had approved a definitive agreement and the deal should close at the start of April following regulatory approvals.

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The plans were announced last year. Henry Ford says the agreement will allow it to offer health care in more communities beyond southeastern Michigan. With the deal, Allegiance Health expects to get access to new state-of-the-art technologies.

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Under the proposed new structure, Allegiance Health leaders and local community leaders will continue to represent local interests.

Allegiance Health is a 480-bed community-owned health system. Henry Ford is a five-hospital system with numerous other locations.

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