BALTIMORE (WJZ)– WJZ has learned the University of Maryland Medical System has entered into an exclusive agreement with St. Joseph Medical Center.

Sources say the process is expected to take some time to go through, but under the agreement the University of Maryland intends to purchase St. Joseph Medical Center.  The transfer of ownership will need to be approved by Catholic Health initiatives, federal, state and Church authorities prior to the transaction closing.   

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St. Joseph Medical Center was put up for sale after a surgical scandal involving stents that hurt its reputation and finances. 

Three hospital systems were initially considered to buy St. Joseph Medical Center, but University of Maryland is now in exclusive talks.

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The University of Maryland Medical System released this statement:

“The University of Maryland Medical System is pleased to have been selected as the preferred partner to acquire St. Joseph Medical Center and help them continue their long tradition of serving the community.  We are looking forward to working with the staff and physicians of St. Joseph and to moving forward with Catholic Health Initiatives to finalize the terms of the agreement.”

A news release from St. Joseph Medical Center says University of Maryland Medical System has committed to honor St. Joseph’s Catholic identity and religious heritage.   

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 Stay with WJZ.COM for the latest on this developing story.