Providence Health & Services, Southern California on Monday said that it had reached a definitive agreement to take over Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.

Pending regulatory and other approvals, Providence Southern California, a unit Providence Health & Services of Renton, Wash., will assume ownership and day-to-day management of the 234-bed hospital from SCL Health System, which is based in Denver.

Providence said the deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, will help “to chart a sustainable future for Saint John’s Health Center in the era of comprehensive health reform.”

Both Providence Health, which owns hospitals in Mission Hills, Burbank, Tarzana, Torrance and San Pedro, and SCL Health are Catholic not-for-profit health care groups founded by nuns.

Other bidders for St. John's included UCLA Health System in Westwood, Ascension Health Alliance of St. Louis and Dignity Health in San Francisco. SCL Chief Executive Michael Slubowski said Providence was selected because it will retain the hospital’s Catholic values.

“This agreement ensures Saint John’s is brought into the fold of one of the most advanced and connected health networks in Southern California, while retaining its Catholic identity,” Slubowski said in a statement.

The transfer to Providence requires regulatory approval from the California attorney general, as well as approval by the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Vatican.

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