ALBEMARLE, N.C. -- Carolinas HealthCare System, the multibillion-dollar hospital chain based in Charlotte, will expand further with the purchase of the health system that owns Stanly Regional Medical Center in Albemarle.

The Stanly Health Services board of directors agreed to the deal Wednesday.

As part of the ownership agreement, Carolinas HealthCare has agreed to invest $70 million over 12 years to improve patient services and facilities within Stanly Health Services.

In addition to the 119-bed Stanly Regional Medical Center, the nonprofit Stanly Health Services consists of Stanly Manor, a nursing home; Home Care of the Carolinas, a home health care agency; and Alliance Medical Inc., a medical equipment firm.

Carolinas HealthCare manages Stanly Regional and Stanly Manor. The management agreement, in effect since 2009, will be canceled when Carolinas HealthCare takes ownership on Oct. 1.

Stanly Health Services and Carolinas HealthCare System have developed a strong relationship over the past four years, Carolinas HealthCare CEO Michael Tarwater said in a news release. Our organizations share similar missions and complementary visions, deepened by our shared commitment to provide the highest quality healthcare services to the Stanly community.

It s part of an aggressive regional expansion for Carolinas HealthCare, North Carolina s largest hospital chain. With nearly $7 billion in annual revenue, the public nonprofit system owns Carolinas Medical Center and oversees more than 30 hospitals across the Carolinas.

Larry Baucom, board chairman of Stanly Health Services, said the board s top priority is to ensure the organization s long-term sustainability.

In this time of tumultuous change in health care we are now aligning our two systems to meet future challenges and opportunities, he said in a release.

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