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UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Resources partner, form Southwestern Health Resources

A joint operating company will be formed to oversee the three Dallas hospitals.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

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UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Resources are forming a regional network to be named Southwestern Health Resources, the UT System Board of Regents announced on October 2.

The new integrated network, while not technically a merger, brings together 27 hospitals in North Texas as well as physicians both independent and associated with UT Southwestern, an academic medical center, and Texas Health Resources, a faith-based, nonprofit health system, according to UT Southwestern.

It includes UT Southwestern's two university hospitals and Texas Health Resources' 25 community hospitals.

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A joint operating company will be formed to oversee the three Dallas hospitals: UT Southwestern's William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital and Zale Lipshy University Hospital; and Texas Health Resources' Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

The venture is expected to provide expanded opportunities for teaching and clinical research, with Texas Health Resources providing support for UT Southwestern's academic initiatives.

It will not use any state funds provided to UT Southwestern. Although UT Southwestern is a state institution, neither its state appropriation nor funds provided by the UT System are used in direct support of its clinical facilities or services.

Friday's announcement represents the next step in a long history of cooperation between the two health systems, according to the heads of both health systems.

"Southwestern Health Resources will include an integrated, coordinated network of nearly 3,000 physicians that can provide the communities of our region the full continuum of care, from prevention and health management to highly specialized care in state-of-the-art facilities," Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern, said in a statement.

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The board of Texas Health Resources had previously granted approval for the integrated network, according to UT Southwestern.

"We expect the new network will help improve quality and enhance affordability during a time when patients, insurers, and other payers are increasingly sensitive to healthcare costs," Barclay Berdan, CEO of Texas Health Resources, said. 

Twitter: @SusanJMorse