The Illinois Hospital Association and Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council yesterday announced their intention to merge to better serve their members and the patients and communities they serve. IHA Board Chair Dean Harrison, president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, and MCHC Board Chair Michael Eesley, CEO of Centegra Health System, Tuesday entered into a letter of intent to form the integrated organization, a process the associations expect to complete by the end of 2015. “By leveraging the expertise of both organizations, spurring innovation and advancing collaboration, this integrated organization has the opportunity to redefine what a health care association means to its members, and will not only benefit them but also contribute to Illinois being a national leader in health care delivery,” said MCHC President and CEO Dan Yunker and IHA President and CEO Maryjane Wurth. “Serving our members in the best way possible in an environment that is going through major transformation is the driving force behind this decision to create a new organization.”