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Hospital of University of Pennsylvania officials say they have special preparations in case of terrorist attacks. Credit: Shannon Jensen , Shannon Jensen

Chester County Hospital and Health System has officially joined the University of Pennsylvania Health System, according to a Wednesday press release by Penn Medicine.

The Chester County Hospital—which has a 245 bed complex in West Chester and satellite locations in Exton and West Goshen, among others—announced its intent to join UPHS in January. The two systems are currently already both partners in the Penn Cancer Network and have other collaborations, such as radiology, radiation oncology and maternal fetal medicine.

The Chester County Hospital had a $2 million operating loss the last fiscal year. When asked about the implications for UPHS, Penn Medicine spokesperson Susan Phillips responded only with, “[Chester County Hospital and Health System] is a strong organization.”

Related: Chester County Hospital to join U. Health System

At the time, the board decided it couldn’t undergo its planned expansion to add a new patient tower and began to look for a partner. Initially, the parties hoped to complete the deal by spring 2013. The time between the conclusion and the announcement, Phillips said in an email, “was for various regulatory approvals.”

“We hope to further expand the depth and breadth of quality health care services that Penn Medicine provides,” UPHS’s CEO Ralph Muller said in a press release.

Chester County currently has cardiovascular services, hospice care and radiation oncology, among a myriad of other services.

Chester County’s President and CEO Michael Duncan called the merger an “exciting time.”

Many other independent hospitals in the Philadelphia area are joining larger health systems or are being bought. Prime Healtcare Services, Inc. acquired Lower Bucks and Roxborough Memorial Hospitals in 2012.

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