The boards of two Maine hospitals and their parent corporations last week approved a merger that would create the state's third-largest hospital.
The facilities, 232-bed Mid-Maine Medical Center in Waterville and 124-bed Kennebec Valley Medical Center in Augusta, are located about 15 miles apart in south central Maine.
The hospitals began talks last fall and recently approved a preliminary memorandum of understanding on terms of the affiliation.
Terms of the planned transaction were not disclosed.
The merger would create a regional health system with one hospital corporation, a consolidated medical staff and several healthcare subsidiaries. The organizations plan to file a request for state regulatory approval, according to Kennebec Valley President Warren Kessler and Mid-Maine President Scott Bullock. The state's decision is expected by next spring.
Kessler will serve as the initial president and chief executive officer of the new system. He plans to retire in 1999, when Bullock is slated to take over.