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New Mexico hospital to join Christus Health

Alamogordo, N.M.-based Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to join Irving, Texas-based Christus Health. 

The two entities will now enter negotiations and plan to reach a final agreement by early summer, according to a May 5 news release shared with Becker's

Rural community hospitals like 98-bed Gerald Champion have faced the "strongest headwinds" in the evolving healthcare industry, according to Norm Arnold, chair of its board of trustees. 

The hospital hopes to leverage the strength of the Christus network to invest in capital improvements, expand recruitment and retention efforts, and grow clinical capabilities to better serve the community. 

"After a thorough, 18-month planning process, it is clear CHRISTUS can support our long-term goals while truly aligning with our mission and strengthening our already solid operational and financial foundation," said Jim Heckert, the hospital's CEO. 

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