Area hospitals possibly partnering up

ELKHART, Ind. -- Two local hospitals are closer to joining forces.

The board of the directors at Elkhart General voted to affiliate with Memorial Hospital in South Bend. The merger was first announced back in March.

Hospital officials told ABC57 this afternoon the move would fight rising costs and build a stronger base for doctors and specialists.

"Some people can go wherever they need for health care, but a lot of people in our communities, both South Bend and Elkhart, can't do that,” said John Martin of Elkhart General Hospital. “We believe the affiliation will give us the ability to bring a lot more of that into the local markets.”

Memorial Hospital will vote on the proposal Wednesday. Both hospitals will stay put as part of the agreement, but there would be a joint board of directors.

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