After a long search to find a partner, Good Shepherd announced Monday afternoon that they will join CHRISTUS Health Systems. This is an important step to keep the system afloat.

"The challenges for us were providing adequate health care, capitol," President and CEO Steve Altmiller says. "Any independent hospital, small hospitals, health systems are going to have to merge with other organizations."

Officials almost had an agreement with Duke Lifepoint Healthcare. Negotiations failed, causing Good Shepherd to search for a new partner.

"We started with 18 companies that expressed an interest in the late fall," Altmiller says. "There's always been a strong interest."

The partnership is expected to be official in Spring 2017. Altmiller says expectations are very high with the new resources the health system brings with it.