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Huntingdon Co. hospital announces affiliation

Updated: Friday, March 14 2014, 12:25 PM EDT

By: WJAC Web Staff

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A Huntingdon County hospital has announced an affiliation agreement with a central Pennsylvania health system.

J.C. Blair Hospital officials in Huntingdon announced Thursday that the hospital has entered a memorandum of understanding for an affiliation with Harrisburg-based PinnacleHealth.

The two sides had been exploring affiliation since May 2013, including clinical and corporate affiliations, officials said in a statement.

The first phase of the J.C. Blair and PinnacleHealth affiliation will include clinical support, group purchasing and physician recruitment, officials said. J.C. Blair will continue to operate as an independent hospital and its local board of directors will remain the same.

"The careful evaluation of partnership options stemmed from each organization's recognition of the importance of maintaining quality, healthcare service in our local communities," said J.C. Blair President and CEO Lisa Mallon in the statement. "Both organizations evaluated a variety of options. We are pleased with the outcome of a clinical affiliation and the investment that PinnacleHealth has committed to make in our Huntingdon community."

The two organizations recently announced a telemedicine partnership, bringing specialty services like neurology, infectious disease, wound care and stroke care to Huntingdon.

"The telemedicine program is one example of our commitment to the Huntingdon community," said Mike Young, president and CEO of PinnacleHealth in the statement. "Our goal from the beginning has been to explore ways we can work together to address changes in healthcare and improve the health of individuals and communities in the county. We believe under this affiliation agreement that PinnacleHealth will be able to support J.C. Blair in creating a strong foundation of clinical excellence and financial stability."

The goal of the telemedicine program is to expedite care for certain medical procedures around the clock without needing to transfer patients to other hospitals.

There was no information released about other possible phases of the affiliation agreement.

Huntingdon Co. hospital announces affiliation

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