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Credit: Luke Chen , Luke Chen

Penn Medicine has four hospitals and hundreds of outpatient centers in the greater Philadelphia area. But the health system is about to get even bigger.

On Friday, Penn’s Board of Trustees voted to approve a tentative proposal for Penn Medicine to absorb Lancaster General Health. The Board also granted Penn President Amy Gutmann and other appropriate administrators the authority to take the necessary steps to carry out the transaction. The two nonprofit health systems recently signed a non-binding letter of intent for this transaction.

LG Health is a local nonprofit health system with outpatient centers, physician practices and three hospitals — including its flagship Lancaster General Hospital — located mainly throughout Lancaster County. Penn’s acquisition of LG Health would add more than 689 hospital beds to its already 2,893 beds. LG Health could also bring 7,300 employees, including more than 900 doctors, under the Penn Medicine umbrella.

Penn and LG Health formed a strategic alliance in February of 2014. Since then, the two have been working to become more integrated. Once negotiations for the acquisition are completed, a definitive agreement is expected to be reached later this month. This will give the two organizations at least three months to handle regulatory matters in time for the anticipated closing date of July 1.

The LG Health acquisition is the latest in a series of expansions by Penn Medicine. In September of 2013, the system acquired the Chester County Hospital and Health System based in West Chester, Pa.

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