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Steward Health Care quits Mass. hospital group

For-profit chain says it can better advocate for its unique interests

Steward Health Care System, the fast-growing company that operates 10 Massachusetts hospitals, has abruptly resigned from the state’s leading hospital association in the midst of a roiling political debate over the future of health care reform.

The for-profit company and its hospitals resigned as members of the Massachusetts Hospital Association without explanation in a hand-delivered note Friday, hospital association president Lynn Nicholas told board members Tuesday in an e-mail obtained by the Globe. The resignation was effective immediately.

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