3 Hospitals Merge Attempt to Upgrade Local Health Care

Three hospitals which teach Harvard Medical School students agreed Thursday to merge into one hospital corporation in order to provide comprehensive health care for Boston-area residents.

The corporation, named the Affiliated Hospitals Center, is the result of a merger of the Boston Hospital for Women, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and Robert B. Brigham Hospital. The merger will produce one of the largest and most comprehensive health care centers in the country.

The complex will provide obstetrical, gynecological, surgical and medical care, and serve patients with arthritis and rheumatoid conditions.

James P. King, director of staff services at Boston Hospital for Women, said the merger will enable patients to receive continuous and uniform health care from birth to death.

King said he expects this continuity to reduce the average length of an individual's hospital stay.


The merger followed public hearings held to determine the best method of providing health care for the Boston area. King said this is one of the first times that the needs of the community have been considered before a pending merger was approved.

Discussions of the merger began in 1960. Initially, the hospitals planned to retain their separate corporate identities, but last year, they decided to unite to provide efficient medical care.