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Updated: January 16, 2024

Milford Regional reaches deal to join UMass Memorial system

Photo | GRANT WELKER Milford Regional Medical Center

After months of discussions, UMass Memorial Health in Worcester and Milford Regional Medical Center have signed a definitive agreement for corporate affiliation, allowing the struggling MetroWest hospital to receive support from Central Massachusetts’ largest healthcare system. 

The announcement, which was made via a joint press release issued by the two systems on Tuesday, is the culmination of a process begun in September with the signing of a non-binding letter of intent. 

Edward Kelly, president and CEO of Milford Regional Medical Center

“Agreeing upon the key terms of our corporate affiliation moves us closer to the growth and expansion necessary for Milford Regional to advance its community-focused mission,” Edward Kelly, Milford Regional Medical Center president and CEO, said in the press release. “This is the right time, UMass Memorial Health is the right partner, and we have the right deal to pave the path for our promising future.”

Milford Regional had remained independent throughout its 103-year history, but multiple years of financial losses caused the hospital to consider teaming up with a larger healthcare system. 

The agreement, which is still subject to approval from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, will allow Milford Regional to continue to offer inpatient and outpatient care to the Milford area and will help support investments into improving the hospital’s facilities, equipment, and other infrastructure. 

A portrait photo of Eric Dickson
Photo | Matt Wright
Dr. Eric Dickson, president & CEO of UMass Memorial Health, in Worcester

“We are excited to take this step forward in the process to form a corporate affiliation with Milford Regional, which will build upon UMass Memorial’s long standing collaboration with this exceptional organization,” Dr. Eric Dickson, UMass Memorial Health president and CEO, said in the press release.“Together, UMMH and Milford Regional will be better positioned to provide outstanding care to patients and support the health and wellbeing of communities across Central Massachusetts.”

Dickson previously told WBJ the financial struggles Milford Regional has faced are commonplace among hospital systems across Massachusetts. He said the agreement will not lead to any major changes to core patient services in the first couple of years following the merger, and UMass Memorial continues to leave open the possibility of a separate merger with Heywood Healthcare in Garnder, which announced it would be restructuring through Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October.

The necessary regulatory approvals could take up to nine months before Milford Regional officially becomes part of the ​​UMass Memorial Health system. 

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