About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Sentara, Potomac to merge

Sentara Healthcare, the hospital chain in the Tidewater area, and Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge said today that they have signed a letter of intent to merge. Both hospitals are nonprofits.

Sentara operates seven hospitals, seven nursing centers and three assisted living centers in the Norfolk area.

William Moss, president and CEO of Potomac Hospital, said in a joint statement posted on both hospitals’ Web sites, "These past few years have been a period in which many hospitals, including Potomac, have experienced economic difficulties. This new partnership will safeguard our ability to deliver valuable healthcare services to the Prince William community.”

Potomac was founded in 1972. It has been looking for a partner since February of this year and considered 29 potential partners, according to the statement.

The two companies say that over the next several months they will finalize the details of the partnership and meet the regulatory requirements of the Federal Trade Commission and the Virginia Attorney General.

The joint press release is HERE.