- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

MONROEVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Highmark Inc.’s western Pennsylvania hospital network is affiliating with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The seven-hospital Allegheny Health Network plans to host 26 third-year LECOM students starting next year at the network’s Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville. That’s about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh.

By 2016, Forbes will be hosting 52 students, 26 in their fourth-year of medical school at the Erie-based institution, and 26 additional third-year students.

Allegheny Health Network and LECOM officials say they hope the partnership will help address a shortage of primary-care physicians.

The hospital network already has teaching relationships with the medical schools at Temple and Drexel universities in Philadelphia, while LECOM students also already receive training Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, which is also part of the Allegheny Health Network.

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