Merger of RGHS, Unity now official
Views mixed on RGHS-Unity merger
As of Wednesday, the health system created with the July 1 merger of Rochester General Health System and Unity has a name. It is Rochester Regional Health System, RRHS directors announced after conducting the newly formed system’s first board meeting.
With the merger, the approximately 12,000-employee RRHS became the region’s second largest employer.
While months of work, planning and shepherding the proposal through regulatory reviews preceded the RGHS’ and Unity’s official conjoining earlier this month, knitting RRHS’s far-flung component organizations’ staffs into a single, fully integrated unit will take years, RRHS co-CEOs Warren Hern and Mark Clement have conceded.
Clement and Hern, former CEOs of RGHS and Unity respectively, are co-leading RRHS while the newly merged system’s board searches for a CEO. RRHS board members last month announced a management team made up of executives from Unity and RGHS.
The newly merged health system will ultimately span four counties—Monroe, Ontario, Wayne and Genesee.
RRHS initially included three hospitals: Rochester General and Unity hospitals in Monroe County and Newark-Wayne Community Hospital in Wayne County. Two more hospitals are slated to join the system
Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic in Ontario County and United Memorial Health System and its associated hospital in Genesee County inked not-yet finalized merger agreements with RGHS earlier this year. Those mergers are expected to close by the end of this year, RRHS spokesman Marty Aarons said.
Also falling under RRHS are skilled nursing and senior housing facilities, primary care and specialist physician practices, a home-care organization and the for-profit ACM Medical Laboratory Inc., a roughly $100 million organization that does medical tests locally and does clinical trials work internationally.
In addition to functionally integrating the staffs of RRHS’ component organizations, the newly merged system’s managers face the daunting and expensive task of melding the organizations’ information technology and electronic medical records systems.
Despite the challenges, Hern and Clement promised, patients would see no gaps in care.
“(Patients) won’t see major changes or any compromises in the care they are accustomed to receiving at Unity or Rochester General Health System sites,” Hern said.
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