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Catholic Health Initiatives, St. Alexius sign letter of intent

Catholic Health Initiatives and St. Alexius Medical Center are looking into more ways to work together, the companies announced Thursday.

Chris Jones, spokesman for the Fargo division of Catholic Health Initiatives, said the talks are in early stages. The companies have signed a nonbinding agreement to form a new affiliation.

The organizations, which share Catholic values and rural health care experience, want to see if there are further ways to work together to provide high-quality care, Jones added.

“This partnership would ensure a viable, innovative, high-quality care option for residents in light of healthcare reform and other changes in the region,” said Jeffrey Drop, senior vice president of the Fargo division, in a press release.

The companies currently share several providers and perform certain services together.

It’s too early to get into specifics of what else may be included, Jones said.

“We’re hoping that the affiliation will be completed by the end of the year but at this point … we just started to sit down and talk through all these opportunities that both organizations feel exist,” Jones said.

Catholic Health Initiatives is the parent company of Dickinson’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Health Center.

St. Alexius is headquartered in Bismarck with a 306-bed medical center. It also owns and operates hospitals throughout North Dakota.