Mercy, Patients First Step Closer to Integration

April 17, 2012

Mercy and Patients First Health Care have signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore the possibility of fully integrating physicians, services and physical assets. This is an important step in the process because it now means that Mercy and Patients First are in exclusive negotiations to integrate the two organizations.

“This agreement is the start of something truly great for patients across the entire region served by Mercy and Patients First,” said Donn Sorensen, regional president for Mercy’s east Missouri region. “The dialogue between our two organizations has been productive, and we are optimistic about a shared future.”

“Patients First has invested time and talent to develop a system of care that promotes quality and value for our patients with chronic and acute conditions,” said David E. Chalk, MD, chairman of Patients First. “Mercy recognizes that value. The letter of intent signed by both organizations affirms our joint commitment to a new day and better way of delivering care for the patients of our communities.  The partners of Patients First have overwhelmingly agreed to continue exclusive negotiations with Mercy and the legal due diligence required to fully integrate our organizations.”

 “We’re especially excited about what it means for the future of patients in the Washington area by bringing their two hometown health care providers together,” said Terri L. McLain, president of Mercy Hospital Washington. “The community has been asking for this for a long time, and we are delighted to be taking this next step forward.”

Earlier this month, in a separate legal agreement, Mercy and Patients First consolidated cancer services in the Washington area under Mercy Cancer Center. Medical oncology services will move to the Patients First building early this summer after renovations are made. During the construction phase, patients are receiving services at the Mercy Medical Building on the campus of Mercy Hospital Washington.

About Mercy: Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,600 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

About Patients First Health Care: Patients First Health Care is a Washington, Missouri-based health care system offering quality, convenience and value close to home for patients throughout east central Missouri. Patients First Health Care takes a team-approach to health care, providing patients with access to quality, board-certified or board-eligible physicians, including primary care and 17 specialties in 20 convenient patient centers across six counties. Established in 1998, as a physician-directed organization the needs of the patient come first. Patients First Health Care offers five treatment centers, urgent care and outpatient surgery. For more information, please contact (636) 231-3629 or visit

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