Sharon Regional to join Community Health Systems - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Sharon Regional to join Community Health Systems

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SHARON, Pa. - Sharon Regional Health System has taken the first step toward joining Community Health Systems Inc., the same Tennessee-based group purchased Forum Health in Youngstown and Warren.

Sharon Regional is calling the move a strategic affiliation that's been in the works for some time.

"This is a process our board has been working on for almost a year," says Ed Newmeyer with Sharon Regional. "[We're] evaluating a number of options on strategic partnerships that would best benefit not only the community in which we serve here but Sharon Regional as well."

A major change in the health system would be the designation as a for-profit rather than non-profit.

With 135 hospitals in 29 states, CHS is one of the largest health systems in the country and the partnership can potentially bring an infusion of capital investments in facilities, services and medical technology.

"This is a great opportunity and exciting time for Sharon Regional," Newmeyer says. "It's going to allow us to do so much more and position us very well for the future."

The health system also expects to benefit from the new alliance announced earlier between CHS and the Cleveland Clinic.

For hospital employees, Sharon Regional is non-union, but Newmeyer says one assurance they have from CHS is maintaining workers and the medical staff.

"Sharon Regional will retain all of our employees in good standing with their years of seniority and their current job positions," he says.

At city hall, the city manager supports the health system's decision.

"I'm confident that when they made the decision, they made it with Sharon's best interest in mind," says city manager Scott Andrejchak

The letter of intent signed by the hospital board is just the first step.

"So that just starts the process now of our due diligence period - probably 60 to 90 days - before anything definite is signed," Newmeyer says.

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