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J.C. Blair signs letter of intent with Penn Highlands Healthcare

HUNTINGDON — The boards of directors of J.C. Blair Health System Inc. and Penn Highlands Healthcare have signed a letter of intent to negotiate an affiliation agreement between the two that would integrate J.C. Blair into the Penn Highlands Healthcare system.

J.C. Blair underwent an extensive request for proposal process and previously signed an letter of intent with Post Acute Medical LLC earlier this year.

Despite best intentions from both parties, it became apparent after further discussions that the long-term strategic vision for the hospital no longer aligned and no longer fit the guiding principles as outlined by the J.C. Blair board at the beginning of the process.

During the past few months, it became evident that Penn Highlands, also a part of the original process, would be a better long-term partner to meet the health care needs of the community.

“Through the due diligence process, Post Acute Medical and J.C. Blair realized that merging would not produce the best outcomes for either organization — it just wasn’t a good fit. We believe that Penn Highlands Healthcare is a good fit,” said J.C. Blair board Chairman Fred Price in a statement.

The affiliation with Penn Highlands, which is expected to take effect early in 2019, is designed to strengthen the delivery of health care services by the Huntingdon County-based health care provider.

The mission of Penn Highlands Healthcare is to provide exceptional care through its community-based health system while maintaining a reverence for life.

“That mission is an outstanding fit for our organization,” Price said. “J.C. Blair has always been committed to providing the highest standard of care for the residents of our local communities. Penn Highlands Healthcare’s culture matches our culture.”

“An affiliation with Penn Highlands Healthcare will allow a greater opportunity for J.C. Blair to continue to grow and remain a leader in the provision of health care services as well as maintain its role as a major employer in this region,” said Joe Myers, interim president/CEO of J.C. Blair Health System in a statement.

The signing of the letter of intent means that J.C. Blair Health System and Penn Highlands Healthcare have agreed to general terms and conditions of a prospective affiliation. Throughout the next several months, both parties will engage in additional research and discussions to work toward a definitive agreement.

This process is subject

to customary regulatory review.

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