SACO — One of three University Health Care clinics is set to expand and become an office of Southern Maine Medical Center PrimeCare Physician Services at the end of this year.

The clinic, located on Route 1 and run as a community service of the University of New England and its College of Osteopathic Medicine, offers comprehensive health care for patients of all ages. The expansion and merger will be effective Dec. 31, making the clinic a site for SMMC’s PrimeCare Family Practice, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine services and Walk-in Care. This will be the community’s first no-appointment-necessary walk-in clinic for minor medical care needs, serving anyone in the community.

“Southern Maine Medical Center and the University of New England have a lot in common,” said SMMC President and CEO Ed McGeachey. “We share a long history of commitment to the health and well-being of this community.”

UNE physicians will practice within SMMC PrimeCare while continuing as university faculty and SMMC PrimeCare physicians will collaborate with the university, providing additional academic faculty support and enhanced clinical opportunities for medical students.

“This announcement is the culmination of months of thoughtful planning. By working together, UNE and SMMC have developed a model that will enable more people to access primary care more conveniently than ever before in this community, and our UNECOM medical students will enjoy enhanced academic opportunities,” said UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean Marc Hahn.

During the transition, current clinic patients will experience no disruption in their care and letters are expected to be sent to all Saco clinic patients. The Walk-in Care clinic is scheduled to open Jan. 2, 2012, and SMMC plans to add more family practice physicians at the Saco office in the coming year.