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Ascension, Dignity, Tenet to Enter Into Joint Venture

Carondelet Health Network, based in Tucson, Ariz., and its parent company, St. Louis-based Ascension Health, have signed a nonbinding letter of intent with San Francisco-based Dignity Health and a subsidiary of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. to create a joint venture.

The joint venture — in which Ascension would maintain a minority interest — would own and operate Carondelet, according to a news release. Under the agreement, Tenet would be the majority partner and would hold management responsibility for all operations of Carondelet's assets, although the joint venture would maintain Carondelet's heritage and identity. The joint venture will connect Carondelet to a regional healthcare system of hospitals owned and operated by Dignity and Tenet in the Phoenix area, as well as Tenet and Dignity's accountable care organization, Arizona Care Network.

The health systems involved have entered a period of due diligence and are working toward a definitive agreement, according to the release.

"We are excited to pursue this relationship with Tenet and Dignity Health," James K. Beckmann, president and CEO of Carondelet, said of the agreement. "Like Carondelet, Tenet and Dignity Health are committed to providing high quality, low cost, person-centered care. This relationship is an opportunity to strengthen those efforts, enhance healthcare across Arizona, and continue Catholic sponsorship of Carondelet."

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