Capella Healthcare and Mercy Sign Agreement in Principle

April 23, 2012

St. Joseph's Mercy Health Center

Capella Healthcare, parent of National Park Medical Center, and Mercy Health, sponsors of St. Joseph’s Mercy Health System, have signed an Agreement in Principle to build on a century of service to patients that will enhance the future of healthcare for years to come.  

The Agreement in Principle contemplates transferring ownership of St. Joseph’s Mercy to Capella and allows the two organizations to engage in exclusive negotiations toward a definitive agreement.

“As separate providers in the Hot Springs area, Mercy and Capella face challenges in serving the community,” said Lynn Britton, Mercy president and CEO. “Mercy has deep roots in the region, and it is our intent to continue our ministry here through other ways of meeting community needs. But given the environment, we have come to believe that the region will be better served by a unification of health services under one provider.”

“This agreement reflects our shared core values to provide high quality, cost-effective, compassionate healthcare for the regions we serve,” said Dan Slipkovich, Chief Executive Officer for Capella Healthcare.  “With great challenges related to healthcare reform and a continued uncertain economy, we have to be better and smarter about how we deliver healthcare going forward. We believe a more coordinated system will pave the way for improved quality and greater efficiencies in how we provide care.”

This agreement reflects a trend across the country of hospitals proactively working with other providers. In fact, last year alone, there were 100 such agreements reached.

“Of course, there are a number of issues and opportunities that will need to be fully explored, and we will spend the next several weeks engaging physicians, employees and community leaders to help us shape what’s best for the region and to build on the work already underway,” said Slipkovich.

Due to the nature of the agreement, no further information is available at this time. Mercy and Capella will share additional information when a definitive agreement is reached.

“As we work towards finalizing our agreement, both organizations are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible for patients, employees, physicians and the community as a whole,” said Britton.


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. For more about Mercy, visit

About Capella Healthcare

Capella Healthcare partners with communities to build strong local healthcare systems that are known for quality patient care. Based in Franklin, Tenn., Capella owns and/or operates 13 general acute-care hospitals in seven states.  With the philosophy that all healthcare is local, Capella collaborates with each hospital’s medical staff, board and community leadership to take care to the next level.  The company has access to significant leadership and financial resources, investing in its family of hospitals to strengthen and expand services and facilities. For more information, visit the website,

About St. Joseph’s Mercy

St. Joseph's Mercy Health System includes a 282-bed acute care hospital, the only Level II trauma center in Southwest Arkansas, an 80-physician clinic organization, a dedicated cancer center, the region’s only da Vinci Surgical system, and a newly establishedtelestroke program.St. Joseph’s Mercy received both the 2010 and 2011 Innovator Award from the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care.

About National Park Medical Center

National Park Medical Center is a 166-bed, acute-care facility which has provided care to the region since 1954. The hospital’s Adult Inpatient Rehab department has earned five consecutive accreditations from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, one of only 6 such programs in Arkansas to achieve this accreditation.

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