SAN ANTONIO -

A big announcement from the Methodist Healthcare System and the University of Texas Health Science Center was made on Friday.

Both healthcare providers signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate and expand pediatric care, medical education and programs in San Antonio and the South Texas region.

"The combination of both of our organizations that have been pediatric leaders in our respected fields will create a new delivery model that will be comparable to the most well known and respected children's hospitals in the United States," said Jaime Wesolowski, CEO of the Methodist Healthcare System.

"We're neighbors across the street and this new association we hope will forge a new beginning for children's care in our region," said Dr. William Henrich, president of the UT Health Science Center.

This move comes after the UT Health Science Center had a similar agreement with the Baptist Health System and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

However, the Philadelphia hospital dropped out of the agreement when one of its competitors bought out Vanguard, Baptist's parent company.

However, healthcare officials on Friday said while they are hopeful in this new collaboration, for now, there is no definitive agreement, just a memorandum of understanding.

"We are committed to doing this," said Henrich. "And we'll be spending the next bit of time with the Memorandum of Understanding time-frame to work out the details."

The understanding calls for a 90-day negotiation period that may lead the signing of an agreement to form a comprehensive children's healthcare delivery system for San Antonio and South Texas.