LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan’s health system, is expected to buy Sparrow Health System.

Sparrow and U of M Health will hold a press conference on Friday to formally announce the decision.

Sparrow said the proposed agreement will ‘expand services to mid-Michigan residents, provide access to the highest level of care, improve facilities and technology, and begin a new chapter in Sparrow’s storied history.’

According to the release, the deal was approved in a U of M Board of Regents meeting on Dec. 8 and the Sparrow Board of Directors approved it on Nov. 28.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.

“The partnership with University of Michigan Health provides Sparrow the opportunity to take a greater leadership role in improving the health of the communities we serve,” said Sparrow Health System President and CEO James F. Dover. 

U of M Health has committed $800 million in investments to Sparrow Health System over the next eight years, according to a release.

The Sparrow nursing union, which is formally known as the Professional Employee Council at Sparrow Hospital, told WLNS it learned of the planned affiliation agreement with Michigan Medicine on Thursday and will be seeking more information.

“We are hopeful that this will lead to a renewed investment in frontline patient care that will benefit nurses, healthcare professionals, and our community,” the group said.

The two organizations paved the way for this agreement with a prior deal struck in 2019 to collaborate on pediatric services, U of M President Santa Ono said.

“The mission, vision and values of the two organizations are aligned with a common goal to deliver on the promise of nationally renowned clinical excellence in an accessible setting,” Ono said.

Sparrow says it has more than 115 sites of care across mid-Michigan and is one of the biggest health systems in the state. In West Michigan, it has hospital in Ionia and Carson City.

According to statistics on their website, the health system performs 23,000 surgeries a year, sees 90,000 urgent care and walk-in care visits a year, and has 9,000 caregivers.

Unsurprisingly, Michigan Medicine boasts even bigger statistics. In the fiscal year of 2022, the health system performed 56,260 surgeries and saw 2,640,967 patient clinical visits.