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St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center Will Not Align With Ascension Health Care Network

Paterson, N.J.-based St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., has announced it will not enter into a for-profit hospital alliance with St. Louis, Mo.-based Ascension Healthcare Network.

According to a statement on St. Joseph's website, the decision was made by the board of trustees in a closed meeting and the details regarding the decision will remain confidential.

The decision has repercussions for St. Mary's Medical Center in Passaic, N.J., which is sponsored by the Sister of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the same religious group that sponsors St. Joseph's.

Because St. Joseph's backed out of an alliance, Ascension Health Care Network has advised St. Mary's Medical Center it will no longer proceed with an asset purchase agreement. Earlier this year, Ascension Health Care had begun talks to acquire St. Mary's. However, the purchase was contingent upon both St. Joseph's and St. Mary's joining Ascension's network, according to a statement from St. Mary's Hospital CEO Michael J. Sniffen.

"Consequently, St. Mary's Hospital will be in discussions with [New Jersey] to determine what role St. Mary's will play in continuing to deliver healthcare services to the city of Passaic and the surrounding communities," Mr. Sniffen said in his statement.

Meanwhile, Ascension CEO Leo Brideau said the company is "disappointed by the decision of the St. Joseph's Board of Trustees," according to a New Jersey Real-Times report.

"Our ultimate goal was to ensure St. Mary's and St. Joseph's would have sufficient resources to continue providing quality patient care while maintaining their Catholic identity," Mr. Brideau said in the report.

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