Regional Hospital, a long-term acute care facility in Tukwila, Seattle, has signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Tacoma-based Franciscan Health System.

The 40-bed, non-profit Regional Hospital offers extended critical care, including respiratory care.

If approved by state regulators and by both Regional’s and Franciscan’s boards, Regional Hospital would move to Highline Medical Center’s main campus in Burien.

Currently, Regional Hospital is leasing space at Highline’s speciality campus in Tukwila.

Highline Medical Center earlier this year became part of Franciscan’s three-county system of hospitals and clinics. The affiliation process is expected to be completed as early as next summer.

Regional Hospital CEO Anne McBride said that by joining Franciscan, the hospital can continue to offer highly specialised, long-term care services to critically ill and injured patients throughout the Pacific Northwest.

"We look forward to partnering with Franciscan to enhance the management of patients who need advanced acute care services," McBride added.

"We look forward to partnering with Franciscan to enhance the management of patients who need advanced acute care services."

Franciscan Health System CEO Joe Wilczek said, ""Franciscan is developing a comprehensive range of services to ensure patients receive high quality and efficient care at the lowest possible cost as they move from clinics to hospitals and back into the community or other facilities."

"We will benefit from the expertise of Regional Hospital to improve the management of our critically ill patients and reduce those who are readmitted after a hospital stay," he added.

Regional Hospital will continue to operate as a separate entity within the hospital with its own CEO, chief medical officer and board, despite the affiliation with Franciscan Health System.

Regional Hospital specialises in long-term acute care, critical care and respiratory care.