Huntsville Hospital in the US has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Parkway Medical Center of Decatur from Capella Healthcare.

The agreement, which is expected to be finalised before 2011, will be effective from 1 January 2012, the hospitals said.

Parkway Medical Center is licensed for 120 beds and employs more than 300 people, including 139 physicians.

Huntsville CEO David Spillers said that the facility is looking forward to working with both Parkway and Decatur to build on the quality health care services being offered in that community today.

"With our existing affiliation with Decatur General Hospital, this move will strengthen care in the Decatur community by providing a seamless network," Spillers said.

"We’ve demonstrated our commitment to serving local communities through our affiliations with Athens-Limestone Hospital, Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, and with Decatur General Hospital."

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Capella CEO Dan Slipkovich said Huntsville Hospital has a strong network in the region, including seven hospitals and numerous other facilities, and has a long-established reputation for excellence.

"Parkway’s employees and physicians deserve a great deal of credit for achieving high marks in quality outcomes and patient satisfaction, despite economic pressures that have weighed on hospitals," Slipkovich said.

The community-based, not-for-profit Huntsville Hospital Health System serves patients in north Alabama and south Tennessee.

Huntsville Hospital Health System, which is governed by the Health Care Authority of the City of Huntsville, is the eighth largest publicly owned hospital system in the US.