This article was originally published as part of the Grow PA solutions journalism project, published by and underwritten in part by The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

The recent merger of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and PinnacleHealth may mean that Penn State will have to step up.

Regulatory approvals were given the green light for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and PinnacleHealth to join forces last week, becoming UPMC Pinnacle. But what does that mean for those in Central Pennsylvania?

Danielle Gilmore, public relations manager, PinnacleHealth, Lancaster Regional Medical Center and Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center, called it a milestone via email.

“PinnacleHealth System and UPMC have reached another milestone in our efforts to align by signing a binding integration and affiliation agreement,” she said.

This consolidation comes less than a year after the Federal Trade Commission put a halt to a merger between PinnacleHealth System and Penn State Hershey Medical Center, saying it “would substantially reduce competition” for inpatient hospital services in the Harrisburg region.

The FTC was looking to prevent “reduced quality and higher health care [sic] cost