SANFORD – H.D. Goodall Hospital has received state approval to join the MaineHealth system, which includes Maine Medical Center in Portland, Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford and nine other hospitals.

Goodall, a 58-bed hospital founded in 1928, also has primary and specialty care physician groups, assisted living facilities, and outpatient services in Sanford, Kennebunk and Waterboro.

The approval from Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew on Thursday was the last step in the regulatory process for Goodall Hospital to become part of the MaineHealth chain.

The hospital said its board of trustees analyzed options for the hospital’s future and concluded that membership in the MaineHealth system will enable Goodall to strategically partner with its members to improve health care in York County.

Fewer than 15 percent of all hospitals nationwide remain independent, and with the downturn in the economy and the advent of health-care reform, many independent hospitals are in merger discussions, according to Goodall.

Mid Coast Health System of Brunswick and Lewiston-based Central Maine Medical Center are currently vying for Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick.

Meanwhile, Mercy Hospital in Portland has signed a letter of intent to be acquired by Steward Health Care System of Massachusetts.

“The changing landscape of government reimbursement, skyrocketing costs, increasing regulation and a drive to improve quality is paving the way for many small hospitals to seek membership in larger systems,” said Patsy Aprile, president and CEO of Goodall Hospital.

MaineHealth includes Maine Medical Center, Lincoln County Healthcare, Maine Mental Health Partners, Pen Bay Healthcare, Southern Maine Medical Center, Waldo County Healthcare, Western Maine Healthcare, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Maine Physician Hospital Organization, NorDx and Synernet.

Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

[email protected]