Rochester, N.Y.- Two local health systems could be merging.

Unity Health System and Rochester General Health System announced Monday they agreed to enter into discussions to create a formal relationship. The organizations want to form a new integrated health care delivery system designed to provide high quality services and lower the cost of health care for the community.

Warren Hern, President and CEO of Unity Health System said, ““This is a forward-thinking, strategic move for Unity and Rochester General and for the Greater Rochester community. Our Board of Directors, over the last 18 months, has evaluated the future of the health care environment, with the intent that Unity could be instrumental in leading the transformation of health care in our community. Today’s announcement sets us on a course to enhance community-wide access to higher quality and affordable health care.”

Unity and RGHS will engage in discussions and related activities in the coming months to finalize plans.

Hern said it could take up to two years to gain government approvals.