The affiliation of two area health care organizations is a step closer to becoming a reality. Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville plans to join Memorial Health System, which oversees three other hospitals including Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.
Tuesday, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board unanimously approved the change.
Ed Curtis, Memorial's CEO, says the affiliation is on target to take effect April first. Afterward, he says patients won't notice an immediate difference in how they access health care:
"It does provide the opportunity for both organizations to offer greater access to health care over time. Just by working together to better serve the citizens of our respective communities," he said. "But no immediate changes."
The Federal Trade Commission must also give it's O-K. Curtis expects that will happen later this month.