The Altoona Regional Health System says it is moving forward with a proposed affiliation with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Officials said Monday that the Altoona health system's board of directors and parent company Central Pennsylvania Health Services Corp. have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to negotiate the deal.
If approved, the two would sign a definitive agreement to affiliate.
Altoona officials said conditions of the proposed affiliation include advancing health care for Altoona and surrounding communities and providing financial resources needed "in the face of health care reform" to continue providing advanced medical services for the region.
Pittsburgh-based UPMC already owns 19 hospitals in western Pennsylvania. Altoona Regional has 380 beds.