Western Maryland Health System officially has become UPMC Western Maryland, merging into the UPMC hospital network. UPMC has committed to make certain capital investments to enhance services and upgrade facilities in the Western Maryland region.

“Becoming part of UPMC will allow us to further enhance health care services, leverage UPMC’s innovation and clinical expertise, advance quality initiatives and continue our long-standing commitment to provide superior, compassionate care to patients throughout our tri-state service region,” WMHS President and CEO Barry P. Ronan said, in a statement.

In 2018, WMHS and UPMC joined together in a clinical affiliation to work cooperatively to enhance health care services, strengthen the delivery of care and reduce the cost of providing care in the community.

In March 2019, the boards of both WMHS and UPMC signed a non-binding letter of intent to negotiate an affiliation agreement. Following a nine-month regulatory review and due diligence process by WMHS and UPMC, the boards co-signed a binding integration and affiliation agreement on Jan. 15, 2020, setting Feb. 1, as the target date for finalizing the affiliation.

The new affiliation does not affect patients’ insurance coverage. UPMC Western Maryland will continue to honor the contracts it has in place with regional and national insurers and has reaffirmed its commitment to continue working with multiple payors in the future.

The board of UPMC Western Maryland consists of 12 directors, including eight appointed by the current WMHS board and four designated by the UPMC board.