2 Phoenix hospitals to combine pediatric services

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Phoenix Children's Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center say they plan to combine pediatric services.

The deal would bring complex pediatric medical care to the new Phoenix Children's Hospital tower.

St. Joseph's would move most of its pediatric services to Phoenix Children's when the hospital's new 11-story hospital tower opens by the middle of next year.

The hospitals are billing the deal as a strategic alliance that will create a destination spot for children in Arizona and beyond who battle life-threatening illnesses.

At a news conference Wednesday, officials said the two hospitals have reached a "memorandum of understanding" but still must negotiate details such as plans to merging the hospitals' medical staffs.