PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island-based Care New England Health System has agreed to move forward with a sale to Boston-based Partners HealthCare following months of uncertainty.

Care New England announced Thursday that the boards of directors of both companies had reached a definitive agreement that outlines purchase details. Providence-based Care New England had signed a letter of intent last year concerning the deal.

Brown University president Christina Paxson had criticized the takeover, writing that it would increase costs and hurt Rhode Island patients who need specialty treatments. Paxson had proposed an alternative merger where Brown would join Prospect Medical Holdings.

Care New England said in a news release the plan will allow the company to stabilize its finances. The company maintains it will continue its research partnership with Brown University.