Ohio-based University Hospitals (UH) has received final approval from state and federal government regulators for the integration of Parma Community General Hospital and EMH Healthcare into the UH health system.

The evaluation of the integration process took several months and the organisations anticipated reaching a final agreement by the end of 2013.

Following the approval, Parma Community General Hospital and EMH Healthcare became part of University Hospitals as of 1 January 2014.

As part of the integration into the UH system, Parma Community General Hospital will be renamed University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, and EMH Healthcare will soon be known as University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center.

UH will work closely with their boards of directors, the physician community, leadership, employees and volunteers to bring investments and cost efficiencies including upgrades to facilities, equipment, services and technologies at both entities.

UH’s academic-based mission will provide strong clinical research, leading-edge technology, innovative practices and initiatives that will enhance the patient experience and deliver the highest quality of care.

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"Joining with these hospitals will provide western Cuyahoga and Lorain counties the best opportunity to strengthen and improve the health of their communities for years to come."

Additional commitments will bring programmes from internationally recognised centres of excellence such as UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and UH Seidman Cancer Center to UH Elyria making it their flagship hospital based in Lorain County and continued expansion of their presence at UH Parma.

University Hospitals CEO Thomas F Zenty III said that meeting the community’s health care needs has been an unwavering commitment of University Hospitals since its founding in 1866.

"Joining with these hospitals will provide western Cuyahoga and Lorain counties the best opportunity to strengthen and improve the health of their communities for years to come," Zenty added.

UH Parma, a 332-bed hospital, employs 2,000 north-east Ohio residents and has more than 500 physicians on its medical staff in more than 30 specialties and a comprehensive campus of services.

UH Elyria, a 387-licensed bed hospital, employs 2,100 north-west Ohio residents and has campuses in Elyria, Amherst, Avon, Sheffield and North Ridgeville.

UH now employs 25,000 Ohio residents and its health system includes 14 hospitals, including its relationship with Southwest General and St. John Medical Center, and 25 outpatient health centres located throughout the region.