US-based healthcare networks Henry Ford Health and Ascension Michigan have announced plans to combine their facilities and assets across south-east and central Michigan.

The partnership aims to enhance healthcare services, promote equal access to care services and improve outcomes for the community.

Having more than $10.5bn in operating revenue, the combined entity will employ around 50,000 colleagues across more than 550 care sites.

It will operate as Henry Ford Health, retaining its Detroit base.

The combined group will be led by Henry Ford Health president and CEO Bob Riney, with a board of directors representing both health providers.

Ascension Michigan chief clinical officer Dr Doug Apple said: “Patients across Michigan will have more access than ever to end-to-end healthcare services, from primary care through complex speciality care and procedures.

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“Together, we will coordinate existing and expanded services to surround our patients with what they need to live healthy lives – with more options closer to home.

“By focusing on the creation of an integrated, streamlined healthcare journey, we can improve the consumer experience, improve care coordination, and provide superior value.”

The partnership is expected to be finalised by mid-next year subject to regulatory approval.

Some of Ascension Michigan’s hospitals in the state’s southwestern and north regions will continue to be part of Ascension’s national healthcare coverage.

Henry Ford Health chief clinical officer Dr Adnan Munkarah said: “The commitment of the new combined organisation to clinical excellence, educational partnerships and research remains steadfast, as is the focus on continuing to advance research that has immediate clinical applications and will improve treatment and outcomes.

“Additionally, the expanded footprint created through this joint venture will allow Henry Ford Health to provide outstanding comprehensive medical care and train more physicians, nurses and allied health professionals, at more sites and in more specialities, across the communities we serve.”