A financial feasibility study is being done.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Lawrence County's two largest health-care providers are looking at becoming one.
Jameson Health System and St. Francis Hospital of New Castle announced Friday they are initiating discussions to study the development of a combined independent health-care system, headquartered in and serving Lawrence County.
Deloitte and Touche, a national consulting firm, has been hired to complete a financial feasibility study, according to a news release sent out by the hospitals.
Few other details were available.
Announcement: Linda Cody, spokeswoman for Jameson Health System, said they decided to make the announcement to alert the public to the study and the discussions.
"There will be people who work here who are aware of it and as a courtesy we wanted to let everyone know what was initiated," she said.
Cody said Jameson Health System has been strong in Lawrence County and hasn't experienced any financial difficulties, but the system has been considering this type of study for some time.
Closures: St. Francis Health System, which is based in Pittsburgh, hasn't fared as well financially recently and has closed some facilities in Pittsburgh and cut back on staff in all of its hospitals.
St. Francis spokeswoman Cheryl Bunofsky noted that the New Castle site has made some inroads. "We've been able to bounce back," she said. However, she would not explain further.
Both hospitals plan to release more information on the matter in the future, Cody and Bunofsky said.