The University of Michigan Health System and Metro Health have signed a definitive agreement for affiliation, to take effect by the end of 2016 meaning UMHS services will be expanded to western Michigan.

In the agreement, the University’s Board of Regents and Metro Health Directors stated that the affiliation will improve the west Michigan health care market.

Metro Health is a health system that includes a hospital in Wyoming, Michigan, near Grand Rapids. Through this agreement, the University will be expanding its health care services to that facility. The agreemen follows a letter of intent signed in June.

The partnership will allow western Michigan residents to gain increased access to University health care and medical research. Metro Health’s hospital and its network of doctors, nurses and other providers in collaboration with the University Health System will strive to help Metro Health improve its specialty and primary care.

Metro Health CEO Michael Faas said in an earlier press release about the process that partnering with the University will add options for increased care to Metro Health patients, especially in the Grand Rapids community.

“It is no secret that U-M has some of the best providers in the state and country,” Faas wrote in a statement in June. “By joining the ‘leaders and best’ we can build on our existing expertise and provide our patients and community with enhanced access to specialized health care services, scientific discovery and advanced technology.”

Financial terms of the agreement have yet to be announced publicly. However, when the University Health System proposed a partnership with Metro Health three years ago, the numbers included a gained 75 percent stake and 100 percent ownership of the Metro Health Foundation over five years, as well as a $25 million payment to Metro Health.

Marschall Runge, CEO of the University Health System and dean of the Medical School, wrote in a statement that he was looking forward to working with Metro Health.

“We too are excited about this relationship that should continually improve the care we can — together — provide residents of the state of Michigan,” he wrote. “Metro Health will be essential to helping us move groundbreaking research and discovery from bench to bedside.”

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