GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The anticipated merger between Michigan health care giants Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health has taken a step forward with the signature of a formal integration agreement.

The agreement lays out the organizations’ goals, like improving the customer experience, the quality of care and equity in care, lowering costs and making sure doctors and other medical professionals guide the culture of the new system, a Thursday release explained.

“We have worked together to develop a deeper understanding of each organization. I greatly appreciate the efforts of our teams, and I remain confident that together we will create an optimal health system For Michigan, By Michigan™,” Spectrum Health President and CEO Tina Freese Decker, who will also head up the new system, said in a statement. “Both Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health have rich histories with compassionate, high-quality and dedicated health care professionals. As COVID-19 and the delta variant increase, I am grateful for the care provided to our communities by our team members. I look forward to working with our teams to make health care and coverage more accessible, affordable, equitable and exceptional for Michiganders.”

Grand Rapids-based Spectrum and Southfield-based Beaumont announced their intention to merge in June. The goal is to launch the new system, temporarily named, BHSH System, within months.

Spectrum is already the largest employer in West Michigan. Once it merges with Beaumont, the new health system will be the largest employer across the entire state.