ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — St. Peter’s Health Partners is taking the first step toward a possible merger with Ellis Medicine.

The two healthcare systems signed a “provider transition agreement” on Wednesday, which allows them to work together by sharing information. The next step towards the merger will require the approval of the New York State Department of Health of a two-year management services agreement.

If NYSDOH signs off on the services agreement, healthcare services will not be impacted for at least the first two years.