MU Health Care CEO seeks support for hospital acquisitions

Columbia, Mo.-based MU Health Care CEO Jonathan Curtright told attendees of a packed event in Mexico, Mo., that their support was essential for the completion of a proposal  to buy two area hospitals from St. Louis-based SSM Health, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

MU Health Care is attempting to buy SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital-Audrain (Mo.) and SSM Health St. Francis-Maryville (Mo.), which have both struggled financially. Some attendees questioned why the system would want to buy struggling facilities, but Mr. Curtright said MU Health Care is interested in keeping care locally operated.

"Nothing in our due diligence, thus far, has made us leery about [the purchase]," said Mr. Curtright. "Healthcare, whenever possible, should be a local phenomenon."

Mr. Curtright emphasized that his system will be unable to complete the deal unless members of the community supported it.

"We must have community support for this. Period," said Mr. Curtright. "We're all in this together. Somebody is going to get these hospitals, and as a Missourian, I’d rather it be us. You have more control and influence than you’ll ever realize on this particular topic. Don’t underestimate the grassroots support that is required for this."

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