Rochester-based Mayo Clinic is expanding into the Georgia market for the first time.
Mayo is now the parent company of Satilla Regional Health Services, which serves patients in nine southeastern Georgia counties.
Satilla employs about 1,500 staff at a stand-alone, 231-bed, acute-care hospital, two nursing homes and a rehabiliation center based in Waycross, Ga. Waycross is about 75 miles north of Mayo's Jacksonville, Fla. campus.
Mayo Clinic Florida Chief Administrative Officer Bob Brigham said the merger is a good fit because it allows Mayo to expand in the southeast.
"We're always looking at ways that we can provide additional access, accommodate more patients and bring the Mayo model of care to a broader range of people in our regions," Brigham said.
Brigham said Satilla was attractive because it was a good, cultural fit.
"One of the things that's a characteristic hallmark of our organization is that we're a physician-led organization," Brigham said.
The new medical center will be called Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross. The Georgia attorney general has approved the merger. In addition to Jacksonville, Fla. and Rochester, Minn., Mayo has a campus in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Court documents say that although there is no immediate financial need for Satilla to affiliate with another health care system, Satilla is a stand-alone community hospital and that an affiliation would ensure its long-term sustainability and keep the hospital competitive in the current market.