WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — After months of preparation, a new affiliation between Metro Health and the University of Michigan Health System is in place.

Metro Health said the partnership lead to an expansion in care, use of advanced medical technology and research capabilities.

“Our affiliation with the University of Michigan will help ensure our patients and the people of west Michigan continue to have access to great quality care and choice when they consider their health care needs. U-M and Metro Health doctors will work alongside each other to provide the latest, most advanced and most innovative care to patients,” Metro Health President and CEO Michael Faas said in a Thursday statement.

The organizations said they have been connected since 2009, with U of M providing radiation oncology at Metro. They later developed pediatric cardiology and pediatric endocrinology partnerships. Those programs “paved the way for this affiliation,” Dr. Marschall Runge, the CEO of the U of M Health System, stated.

Members of Metro Health boards and committees will keep their seats, working with U of M teams.

Plans for partnership were announced in June and officials with both institutions approved the affiliation agreement in September.

There was previously a plan for Metro to merge with a for-profit hospital out of Tennessee, but that was called off in August 2015.