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Batavia’s United Memorial Medical Center is becoming a “fully integrated affiliate” of Rochester General Health System.

In a joint press conference today, UMMC CEO Mark Schoell said that changes in health care have negatively impacted independent rural health care providers.

The relationship was first established in 2008. Already the two organizations collaborate in the areas of cardiology, pathology, urology and more, as well as partnering to open the Cancer & Infusion Center. There is also a telemedicine program in place to further provide specialist health care services at UMMC.

The announcement today, they said, solidifies the arrangement to ensure UMMC continues to grow and thrive.

“I would expect that those type of activities and services will continue to grow, expand and we’ll see similar results,” Schoell said.

Rochester General president and CEO Mark Clement compared UMMC to Newark-Wayne Community Hospital -- another fully-integrated member. Clement says recruiting physicians, developing system-wide clinical programs, sending out specialists that one would expect to find in Rochester and investments in facilities and technologies has made it the fastest growing rural hospital in NYS.

“Last year it grew by over 1,000 admissions at a time when hospitals throughout the state are actually seeing declines in in-patient utilization,” Clement said of the Wayne County facility. “They’re growing because we’re offering new services, and residents are now having their care provided in their own community close to home.”

Schoell said UMMC talked to several other healthcare systems, but was impressed with Rochester General’s “longstanding focus on high-quality medical care.”

The affiliation does require government approval, which could take six to nine months. UMMC will be keeping its identity.

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