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WellStar, Emory no longer planning to merge | News

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WellStar, Emory no longer planning to merge

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- WellStar Health System no longer plans to merge with Emory Healthcare.

The two health systems announced in February they had begun formal discussions about the possibility of uniting.

But in a statement released Tuesday, WellStar Board of Trustees chair Gary Miller said the board "has determined a new strategic direction."

"WellStar has declined to enter the next stage of discussions with Emory University," Miller said. "We respect Emory University as a leading, international academic medical center. WellStar will accelerate multiple horizontal and vertical integration opportunities with other potential partners."

Miller said LaGrange, Ga.-based West Georgia Health is set to join WellStar, as part of the system's focus on building partnerships that emphasize its role in all the communities it serves.

Emory also released a statement, saying it "regrets" WellStar's decision to end the discussions.

"Emory continues to believe that the proposed combination of Emory Healthcare and WellStar Health System would serve our communities well as a way to extend the benefits of our renowned academic medical center to a larger population of patients in metro Atlanta, as well as the state of Georgia and beyond," the statement says.