After a nearly three year process, two local hospitals are announcing their affiliation.

Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are joining together under the name Mohawk Valley Health System.

The hospitals recently received notification from the New York State Department of Health that they could move forward with the affiliation.

President and CEO Scott Perra says it's a "monumental" day for healthcare in the Mohawk Valley.

Mohawk Valley Health Systems will be governed by a new Board of Directors made up of 18 members, with equal members from the FSLH and SEMC Boards.

Both hospitals will remain open and their names will stay the same.

Perra says they don't expect any significant jobs loss at either hospital because of the affiliation.

He says the affiliation will help enhance services for the Mohawk Valley through collaboration and it supports improved clinical quality throughout the system.

The two hospitals employ more than 4,200 people and have a combined operating budget of $537 million.