Lake Health has agreed to join University Hospitals (UH), establishing Lake Health as UH’s Lake County flagship community-based health care provider.

The Lake Health Board of Trustees and University Hospitals Board of Directors approved the agreement yesterday. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval. The move will assure convenient access to the most advanced health care and services for patients in Lake County and surrounding communities now and in the future.  

“Our goal has been, and continues to be, to provide access to the highest quality care for the people of Lake County and surrounding communities, right here at home,” said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, president and CEO of Lake Health. “Joining UH will enable us to enhance existing health care services close to home and continue to improve health outcomes for the community.”

The agreement will build on UH’s legacy of expanding services at community hospitals and ensuring convenient access to the most advanced health care for patients. UH has committed to work closely with Lake Health’s Board, physicians, leadership, employees and volunteers to bring investments that will benefit the communities served, including enhancements to facilities, equipment and services. Additionally, UH will provide leading-edge technology, innovative practices, strong clinical research and other initiatives that will complement and grow Lake Health’s highly regarded clinical programs.

“We look forward to enhancing services and programs for residents in and around Lake County, improving access to specialized care, and to extending Lake Health’s long-standing tradition of providing patient-focused health care close to home,” said Thomas F. Zenty III, University Hospitals Chief Executive Officer. “The benefits gained through becoming part of UH will lead to greater value and lower costs of care for Lake Health’s patients.”

Earlier this year, Lake Health began exploring strategic partnership options, trying to find a like-minded organization that shared its culture and vision in caring for Lake County and the surrounding communities. That thorough process culminated in the decision to join UH.

“As part of our mission, Lake Health has been dedicated to compassionate care, delivered when and where people need it most,” said Lake Health CEO Moore-Hardy. “We are carrying that same commitment into the future as part of UH. This partnership was a natural coming together for two organizations that share a strong commitment to providing patients with high-quality care and bettering the communities we serve. And even as we’re excited about this future, we can reassure our current Lake Health patients that they will still be able to receive outstanding care from the same doctors and nurses in the same locations, using the same insurance plan that they do today.”

UH will honor existing affiliations with Lake Health, its employed physicians, and independent physicians affiliated with Lake Health, and offer broader support that includes access to UH clinical trials, training and education.

Lake Health’s team members will eventually transition to become UH employees following regulatory approval of the transaction. UH has committed to provide equivalent or better benefits and credit for time served. Patients will continue to receive outstanding care from the same Lake Health doctors and nurses in the same locations they have come to know and trust.

“We welcome Lake Health’s physicians, caregivers and employees to UH, who we respect for their talents and the commitment we share with them to excellence in care for the patients we serve,” Cliff A. Megerian, MD, University Hospitals President, said. “UH looks forward to collaborating with Lake Health’s medical staff, both employed and independent physicians, to enhance healthcare services for the local community.”

Lake Health and UH have a long history of partnership, mainly through the Lake Health/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, located at the Lake Health Mentor Campus. Also in 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.