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Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center are moving closer to an affiliation agreement.

On Thursday, the New York State Department of Health's Public Health and Health Planning Council endorsed the hospitals' affiliation proposal.

The hospitals also reached an agreement with the State Attorney General's Office to move forward.

The final step in the process is next week when the hospitals will file their notification with the Department of Justice.

Officials say if there are no objections, they hope to be able to move forward with the affiliation as early as the spring of next year.