AUBURN, N.Y. -- A group of Central and Western New York hospitals is saying three are better than one.

After a year of planning, leaders from Auburn Community Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health in Syracuse and the University of Rochester Medical Center sat down Wednesday to discuss their now approved affiliation.

The agreement allows the three health systems to develop and share new programs and services to treat patients. Hospital officials say it will make it much easier for patients to find better quality health care.

Officials also spoke about jobs, as some people may be concerned that the partnership will eliminate or downsize positions. They said the opposite is true, and that the affiliation will bring more jobs to the community.