Officials from J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Penn Highlands Healthcare continue to work through what a partnership between the two health entities will look like.

It was announced last October that J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital officials signed a letter of intent to partner with Penn Highlands Healthcare to integrate J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital into the Penn Highlands Healthcare system.

Joseph Myers, CEO of J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, said he is currently speaking with officials from Penn Highlands Healthcare at least once a week to iron out the details of the partnership.

“Both parties continue to work through a finalized definitive agreement,” he said. “From my standpoint, it’s been an easy and collaborative process. They’re starting to understand our strengths and weaknesses, and the more I work with them, the more I feel they are a good fit for J.C. Blair. I know I’ve gotten comments from our medical staff that have been very positive.”

J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital board president Fred Price said officials have been up front with the board as they’ve had questions throughout this process.

“I know the communities we both serve kind of mirror one another, and they seem to operate like we do,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a good fit.”

Myers also wants people to know that because of nondisclosure agreements, he is still unable to share any details about the proposed partnership and timelines with Penn Highlands Healthcare, but staff should be encouraged as they get closer to a deal.

“I think this is a very positive relationship, and it’s only going to strengthen the services in Huntingdon County,” he said.

Penn Highlands Healthcare CEO Steve Fontaine stated, “We are excited to finalize the process and welcome J.C. Blair to our health system. We look forward to this partnership and continuing to provide quality care and essential healthcare services to the Huntingdon area.”

Kylie can be reached at khawn@huntingdondailynews.com.

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