St. Joseph Health System and Providence Health & Services, which has extensive operations in Los Angeles County, have announced they are planning an affiliation to create a single health care entity. Terms of the pending agreement are still being shaped.

Providence, based in Renton, Wash., is a nonprofit organization with 34 hospitals, 475 clinics, 22 long-term care facilities, 19 hospice and home health programs and 693 supportive housing units in 14 Western U.S. markets. Its operations include nearly a dozen hospitals, clinics and other facilities spread over the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, the Westside and South Bay. It also operates the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, and Providence High School in Burbank.

It acquired highest-profile local hospital, St. John’s in Santa Monica, in early 2014. Patrick Soon-Shiong, L.A.’s wealthiest resident and a longtime supporter of St. John’s, made a run at buying the institution when Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, a nonprofit chain based in Denver, put it on the block in 2013.

News of the impending deal was first reported by the Orange County Business Journal.

In a joint statement released this morning, Rod Hochman, chief executive of Providence Health & Services, and Deborah Proctor, president and chief executive of St. Joseph Health, lauded the forthcoming merger.

“Providence and St. Joseph Health’s missions are aligned to improve the quality of care, increase access and make care more affordable for everyone,” Hochman said.

“We are two mission-focused organizations which truly have the potential of being better together, delivering outstanding clinical care and providing a compassionate presence in all the communities we serve,” Proctor added.

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