The boards of directors for Evansville-based Deaconess Health System and Methodist Hospital in Kentucky have approved an affiliation agreement. Our partners at WEHT-TV report the affiliation will allow the Methodist board to maintain control of the hospital with support from Deaconess.

Methodist Chief Executive Officer Benny Nolen and Deaconess CEO Shawn McCoy released a joint statement Thursday confirming the affiliation. Nolen says the relationship will enhance the hospital’s ability to deliver more services locally.

"We know clinical alignment will advance our efforts to provide quality, compassionate care to the communities we serve," said Nolen. "This relationship will also strengthen the ability of our hospitals in both Henderson and Union Counties to meet the needs of patients now and in the future."

McCoy said, "We look forward to working with Methodist Hospital leaders, staff and physicians to improve the health care services for the people in western Kentucky. Both Methodist Hospital and Deaconess are local hospitals, whose leaders and physicians understand and support local governance, as well as locally-provided healthcare."

Methodist announced in May it was considering a potential affiliation with Deaconess. The hospital said at the time the affiliation would create financial stability for Methodist.

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