Atrium Health and Navicent Health have signed the final version of their merger plan. 

The two health systems signed a letter of intent to merge in February at about the same time North Carolina-based Carolinas HealthCare System unveiled its rebrand as Atrium. The strategic alignment is set to take effect Jan. 1, and the boards for both health systems approved the deal earlier this month. 

Atrium and Georgia-based Navicent say the alignment will improve access to care in both states and offers an economic boon for the communities they serve. Navicent will function as a regional hub of Atrium Health.

Navicent’s three hospitals—including the 637-bed Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon, Georgia—will align with Atrium’s 45 hospitals across both Carolinas. Navicent also brings significant population health experience to the union, Atrium said in a blog post, that will benefit both partners. 

“Going alone is becoming harder and harder, and having a partner is becoming an increasing necessity,” Atrium said in a blog post. 

RELATED: Some doctors leave Atrium Health over new compensation contracts 

While Atrium’s merger with Navicent has moved forward successfully over the past year, its much larger planned deal with the University of North Carolina Health Care fell through in March

That deal, which was announced in August 2017, was set to create one of the largest health systems in the U.S. But the talks stalled amid a dispute over leadership.