NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A large New Orleans-based health system with hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi plans a merger that will deepen its presence in Mississippi.

Ochsner Health and Rush Health Systems said in a news release Thursday that they expect their proposed merger to become final in mid-2022 pending regulatory approval.

Ochsner has 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Rush is based in Meridian, Mississippi, and owns six hospitals in east Mississippi and one in west Alabama.

Officials say more than 400 Rush employees making $7.25 an hour will earn Ochsner’s $12 minimum wage after the merger.