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Mercy inks deal to operate 17th critical access hospital

St. Louis-based Mercy has finalized a lease agreement to operate and manage the county-owned Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville, Mo., with the organizations expected to integrate this fall. 

Perry County Memorial will be the 17th critical access hospital that Mercy operates as the owner or through a lease agreement. The initial lease is for eight years with an option to renew for another six years. It includes a second option to renew for another six years for a total length of up to 20 years. 

Mercy intends to retain all current employees at Perry County Health System. Physicians employed by the system will be invited to join Mercy Clinic. Mercy and the Perry County Memorial Board of Trustees have also agreed that all co-workers who remain in good standing will maintain their roles for at least 18 months.

The integration process will include installing a new EHR through Epic, which will begin with a $6.5 million Mercy investment at Perry County Memorial. 

"Mercy's track record of operating critical access hospitals and providing high quality care is exactly what we’re looking for in Perry County," Perry County Health System CEO Chris Wibbenmeyer said. "There's also Mercy's virtual care services which will increase patient care options. And, they have a unique collaboration with Mayo Clinic to improve early diagnosis and treatment of diseases. These are some of the many reasons we're looking forward to a long relationship benefiting everyone in our community."

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