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RGH, Unity merger nears

Rochester, N.Y. -- The merger of two major health care systems in the Rochester region is expected to formally occur in mid-July.

Rochester General Health System and Unity Health System will combine to form a roughly 14,000-employee health system that would become the region's second-largest employer. The merger already has state and federal approval.

On Tuesday, the new health system named a board of directors and senior leadership team. The CEOs of each health system intend to share that role once the merger is complete and until a new CEO is chosen.

"We made the recommendations to our boards that a new CEO be chosen to lead this newly created healthcare system, and that decision was deliberate," said Mark Clement, CEO of Rochester General. "I believed then and I believe today that it is absolutely the right thing to do for our newly created organization."

"We've already worked an arrangement where we will split the organization from a management standpoint and for the next six months or so or however long it takes to recruit somebody and have them in place," said Warren Hern, the CEO of Unity Health System. "Once that occurs, then we will be available to that person if necessary."

Both CEOs said they would not be candidates for the new CEO position.

Hospital leaders do not anticipate closing any facilities or any reductions in clinical care services or staff. Efficiencies may be sought in operations areas like billing, finance, and purchasing.

At the end of 2014, affiliations with Clifton Springs Hospital in Ontario County and United Memorial Medical Center in Genesee County are also expected to be finalized.

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Washington Times