SOUTHAMPTON - ? Southampton Hospital and Stony Brook University Medical Center have signed an agreement to begin a partnership.

If the deal goes through, officials say it would mean more jobs, better health care and a general boost in the economy for the East End.

The merger is a preliminary step and still needs approval by both hospitals' boards.

If the deal is approved, it could mean a new hospital would be built on Stony Brook University's campus that is 4 miles from the current facility.To watch an interview on the new hospital partnership, click on News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.