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Petaluma Valley Hospital parent St. Joseph Health exploring merger

St. Joseph Health, which operated Petaluma Valley Hospital, and other facilities including Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, announced Friday that it was exploring a merger with fellow Catholic health system Providence Health & Services.

Irvine-based St. Joseph announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Providence Health & Services of Renton, Wash., which operates in five Western states, to create a new, single organization. The two said the talks are in “the very early stages” and would continue over the next couple months.