University of Maryland Medical System Completes Merger with Upper Chesapeake Health System

For immediate release: December 09, 2013


Mary Lynn Carver | 410-328-8647

Martha Mallonee | 443-643-4219

BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and the Board of Directors of Upper Chesapeake Health (UCH) today announced that the merger of UCH into UMMS has been completed. The two health care organizations began working together four years ago under a strategic affiliation agreement.

UCH includes two acute care not-for-profit hospitals – the 185-bed Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, and the 89-bed Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace – both located in Harford County, Maryland. Effective today, UCH will do business as University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH) and UCH’s two hospitals will become University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (UM UCMC) and University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital (UM HMH).

The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation will continue to serve as an independent fundraising arm of UCH. The funds currently in The Foundation will continue to be utilized to enhance health care in the Harford County community. Future fundraising will support UM UCMC, UM HMH, The Senator Bob Hooper House, The Kaufman Cancer Center and other initiatives that advance health care in Harford County.

“We have had a long and successful partnership with Upper Chesapeake over the last few years and are very pleased to have them joining the UMMS organization permanently,” said Robert A. Chrencik, president and chief executive officer of UMMS. “With the addition of UCH we are furthering our goal of creating a statewide network of care that encompasses high quality community-based health providers such as UCH, tertiary health providers such as University of Maryland Medical Center, and cutting-edge medical research performed by our partners at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.”

Harford County is home to a growing population of 248,000 residents. In response to this growth and an aging population in the county, the strategic partnership between UCH and UMMS has brought an increase in specialty care to the region, making it possible for residents to stay local for much of their care. One example of this partnership is the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center which opened in October on the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center campus in Bel Air. The new cancer center is an affiliate of the National Cancer Institute-designated Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

"When we chose to partner with the University of Maryland Medical System, we knew that we had selected a partner that was best positioned to help us meet our goals now and into the future,” Lyle Sheldon, FACHE, president and CEO of UCH, explained. “UMMS has a proven record of successfully partnering with community-based hospitals and health care systems, and provides expertise through shared services in critically important areas such as finance, information technology and supply chain management," Sheldon added.

Health care reform at the national and state level is fundamentally changing how health care will be provided in the future with a significant focus on lowering cost, improving quality and delivering better long-term outcomes for patients and payers.

“In this new environment, UCH will be working closely with its medical staff to continually improve all aspects of the continuum of care while relentlessly looking at ways to be more efficient and cost-effective. The merger with UMMS will enable UCH to address these challenges with the full backing, expertise and resources of a statewide system,” stated Roger Schneider, M.D., chairman of the UCH Board.

Upper Chesapeake Health is the leading health care system and largest private employer in Harford County, with 3,000 employees and more than 600 medical staff. UCH’s current employees will remain employed locally by UCH.

About University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health

For the past century, Upper Chesapeake Health (UCH) has offered the residents of northeastern Maryland an unparalleled combination of award-winning clinical expertise, leading-edge technology, and an exceptional patient experience. Our vision is to become the preferred, integrated health care system creating the healthiest community in Maryland. UCH partnered with the University of Maryland Medical System in July 2009 in order to continue its commitment to provide this growing community with expanded clinical services such as oncology, heart and vascular, orthopedics and women and children programs as well as improvements in facilities, and specialist physician recruitment.

About University of Maryland Medical System

The University of Maryland Medical System currently includes 12 hospitals across Maryland, plus the freestanding University of Maryland Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown, and the University of Maryland Shore Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Chestertown. UMMS also operates Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital as a joint venture with Johns Hopkins. The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is the academic flagship medical center for the system and serves as a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurocare, cardiac care, complex pregnancies and fetal medicine, and has one of the largest organ transplant programs on the east coast. UMMS operates 2,430 licensed beds in Maryland. For more information go to