Talking about a "stronger, more vibrant health-care organization," Westchester Medical Center and Sound Shore Health System, parent to Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle, have laid the groundwork for a merger.
The two organizations announced a memorandum of understanding Tuesday to engage in exclusive talks exploring a formal corporate relationship.
Sound Shore Health System is comprised of Sound Shore Medical Center, Mount Vernon Hospital and the Schaffer Extended Care Center.
Michael Israel, president and CEO of Westchester Medical Center said those organizations are critical links to quality health care in southern Westchester County.
"We are committed to furthering the programs and services that the people of that area have come to expect and rely on," he said.
Israel said that the combined operations will strengthen clinical and academic organization for the institutions' physicians.
John Spicer, president and CEO of Sound Shore Health System, said a partnership with Westchester Medical Center would put both organizations in a better position to improve health care in the community.
"Health care in Westchester just got stronger," he said.
A press release on the announcement said the combined financial resources of the two organizations "will be used to provide a smooth transition toward operational and fiscal stability, consolidated services and necessary infrastructure needs. Later, merged operations will generate capital funding to support the needs of the combined organizations."
Westchester Medical Center offers advanced medical care in trauma and burn, heart, transplant, neuroscience, cancer and pediatrics. It has more than 900 attending physicians and 3,300 health-care professionals.
As part of the Sound Shore Health System, Sound Shore Medical Center has been designated by the state as an Area Trauma Center, Stroke Center and Perinatal Hospital with level 3 maternal and neonatal intensive care services.