Ward Building, Feinberg School of Medicine.

The Ward Building at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.

Palos Health and Northwestern Memorial HealthCare are taking steps toward a potential affiliation, Northwestern Medicine announced in a Sept. 11 news release.

The two health systems signed a letter of intent for Palos Health to join Northwestern Medicine, subject to regulatory approval and approval by the entities' respective boards.

"Both health systems are guided by providing patients access to high-quality, compassionate care, close to where they live and work," Northwestern Memorial HealthCare President and CEO Dean M. Harrison said in the news release. "As a member of Northwestern Medicine, Palos Health will join Chicago's premier integrated academic health system and have access to groundbreaking clinical trials, research and leading clinical programs."

Palos Health, which operates a hospital in Palos Heights and an additional campus in Orland Park, has 3,000 employees and a 600-person medical staff, according to the news release. The hospital has 425 licensed beds, while the Orland Park campus provides southwestern suburban residents with primary and specialty care access, as well as a surgery center and advanced diagnostic technology.

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