Northern Light Health’s board of directors voted Wednesday to move ahead with plans to pursue a merger agreement with Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft.

Michelle Hood, Northern Light Health’s president and chief executive officer, hailed the board’s decision as an important step in preserving access to quality health care across rural Piscataquis County.

“As the major healthcare provider in this part of the state, we feel an obligation to help ensure that the delicate fabric of the delivery system can be maintained,” Hood said in a statement.

The merger will need approval from the Maine Legislature.

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