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'We've achieved our goal': Missouri health system to join Mercy

Cape Girardeau, Mo.-based SoutheastHealth has signed a letter of intent to merge with St. Louis-based Mercy, a 42-hospital system.

The letter of intent culminates a search that involved the SoutheastHealth selection committee and the boards of directors for Southeast Hospital and SoutheastHealth System.

"We've achieved our goal, to focus on alignment with a health system that demonstrates a strong willingness to make SoutheastHealth a regional hub in southeast Missouri and the greater tri-state area it serves," President and CEO Ken Bateman said in a Jan. 30 news release. "Mercy is the best strategic fit for both entities and this vision."

Mr. Bateman added that while Mercy's size is important, the partnership is also a great fit for SoutheastHealth's culture and the community.

"With a proven track record in community health, Mercy fully supports strengthening access to affordable primary and specialty healthcare for all residents in the communities we serve," he said.

The proposed deal is being communicated to employees and physicians at a series of meetings, beginning Jan. 30. The health systems expect a definitive agreement to be signed this summer with integration occuring in the fall.

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