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UH System Expands Through Merger with Lake Health

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Addition is largest in UH history, with more than 3,000 caregivers and 600 physicians

By Cliff Megerian, MD, FACS, UH Chief Executive Officer

UH Clinical Update | April 2021

As you know by now, University Hospitals is merging with the Lake Health System and expanding our reach in Northeast Ohio.

This is the largest addition in UH history, and it adds multiple hospitals and ambulatory centers, with more than 3,000 caregivers and 600 physicians, to the UH health system.

We are overjoyed, and frankly, humbled, because out of six health systems that had expressed interest in merging with Lake Health, it was UH that was chosen by the hospital leadership and its board, and also unanimously selected by the Lake County Commissioners.  

This merger had to be vetted by the Ohio Attorney General, as well as the Federal Trade Commission. Both noted that this joining together was a move that was best for both health systems, for patients and for the surrounding communities.

This has been referred to as an acquisition, but we prefer to think of it as a merger – one that offers many benefits to both organizations. To name just a few, our two systems share a culture that puts patients first; that emphasizes the high quality of care as well as great compassion. By combining them, we are certain we will offer the best value in health care.

Also, UH and Lake Health already have a multi-year history of collaboration on many clinical fronts in which our clinicians worked well together, and conveyed mutual respect. Among those clinical fronts were NICU, cancer care, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, ENT, and others. By merging, we can now connect hundreds of thousands of patients who get their care at Lake Health with the thousands of patients whose care has been managed by the four dozen UH physicians who work in Lake County. Doing so allows for an even more efficient care program.

 UH and Lake Health Over Time

2019: UH became a minority member of the Lake Health Beachwood Medical Center, an acute care hospital specializing in orthopedics, urology, spine, and pain management.

2020: UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute cardiac and thoracic surgeons began performing surgery at Lake Health West Medical Center in Willoughby.

December 17, 2020: The agreement for UH and Lake Health to join is announced.

April 16, 2020: This is the official completion of our agreement to integrate Lake Health as a full member of the University Hospitals health system.

2021 and beyond: The integration of our two organizations continues.

 

From a strategic stand point, our Chief Strategic Planning Officer, Paul Tait, has observed that we will solidify UH’s eastern flank of northern Ohio, which will bring market share leadership not only to Lake County, but also improve our market share in Geauga and Ashtabula counties.  The transaction also enhances our population health strategy because both UH and Lake Health focus on the best quality outcomes while providing high-value care for both patients and payors.

Please join me as we welcome our new colleagues at Lake Health.

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