Howard Hospital 2WASHINGTON (AP) — Howard University Hospital plans to form a new partnership with the financially struggling United Medical Center, the District of Columbia’s only full-service hospital east of the Anacostia River.

The Washington Post reports that under the partnership, Howard would share doctors with United Medical Center. The California-based management company Paladin Healthcare would assume financial responsibility.

Mayor Vincent Gray has made it a priority to secure a long-term partner to help sustain United Medical Center. He says this is likely the best chance to ensure the hospital survives and to create an integrated health care system.

Howard University Hospital has had financial problems of its own. Howard reached a deal in October with Paladin for the company to take over day-to-day operations.

Some D.C. Council members expressed skepticism over the deal.