HEALDSBURG and SANTA ROSA -- The parent organizations of Healdsburg District Hospital and Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital today announced they have entered into an affiliation agreement to share certain resources between the two institutions.

The agreement between Evan Rayner, chief executive officer of North Sonoma County Healthcare District, which owns and operates the Healdsburg hospital, and Kevin Klockenga, president and chief executive officer of Santa Rosa Memorial, is a "framework for future collaboration" but maintains their operational and financial independence, according to a joint statement.

That framework would allow the hospitals to jointly recruit physicians, integrate clinical systems, conserve resources and share best practices, the top executives said.

"Both organizations have similar aligned philosophies, goals and values," Mr. Rayner said. "We'll be looking for opportunities to collaborate on improving patient care."

No jobs will be lost or added in the immediate future following the affiliation, he said.

Both Mr. Klockenga and Mr. Rayner stressed that the move was not in response to competition from Kaiser Permanente or Sutter Health. The officials said the passage of health care reform was a driving force behind finding ways to lower costs for patients and provide for synergies among clinical staff.

"The passage of the health care reforms causes us to look forward to lowering costs for patients and cross pollination among our medical staff," said Mr. Klockenga.

Healdsburg District Hospital is a 43-bed acute care facility serving 60,000 residents from Windsor to Cloverdale. The hospital operates a clinic in Healdsburg for wound care, physical therapy and women's diagnostic care, a Cloverdale lab and physical therapy clinic and a Windsor lab.

St. Joseph Health System operates the 278-bed Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital along with North County Hospice in Healdsburg, mobile medical and dental clinics in Windsor and an urgent care clinic set to open Nov. 22 at the Shiloh Center shopping venue in Windsor.