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Brown’s medical school will keep affiliation with Care New England even if Partners moves in

Brown University will keep its affiliation with Rhode Island’s second-largest hospital system even if that system is acquired by Boston-based Partners HealthCare.

The organizations said Tuesday that they have signed an agreement ensuring that Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School will be the primary research and teaching partner of Care New England Health System of Providence.

Partners is planning to acquire Care New England, pending state and federal regulatory approvals. The deal would be Partners’ most significant expansion outside its home state, where it owns Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and several others.

Early this year, Brown University president Christina Paxson raised concerns about the deal, saying it would threaten access to care for people in Rhode Island. Brown and a California hospital chain made an unsolicited offer to acquire Care New England — even though the system was already deep into negotiations with Partners, whose Massachusetts hospitals are affiliated with Harvard Medical School.


Brown later joined the discussions between Partners and Care New England.

As part of the new agreement, Brown’s president would serve on the Care New England board, and Brown’s medical school dean would sit on any academic and research subcommittees of the board.

“This agreement sets us on a clear path for achieving Brown’s goals of a partnership that will enhance the quality of clinical care, generate biomedical research that improves population health, and fuel economic development in Rhode Island,” Paxson said in a statement Tuesday.

Partners and Care New England also are discussing a potential partnership with Rhode Island’s largest health system, Lifespan.

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.