PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The president of Brown University is taking a leave of absence from the board of directors of Care New England, a nonprofit health system that includes several Rhode Island Hospitals.

A spokesman for Brown tells The Providence Journal that Christina Paxson will step away from the board until state regulators decide whether to approve the proposed acquisition of Care New England by another hospital group, Boston-based Partners HealthCare.

A third hospital group, Lifespan Health System, fiercely opposes the proposed merger, making it uncomfortable for Brown-affiliated doctors with privileges at both Lifespan and Care New England facilities.

It's unclear when the Rhode Island Department of Health and the office of the Attorney General will complete the review of the proposed acquisition.

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