Mercy and Capella Healthcare have entered into a period of due diligence activities as the next step in discussions toward establishing a new system of health care for Hot Springs residents. In response to recent concerns raised by Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Diocese of Little Rock, Mercy President and CEO Lynn Britton issued the following statement about a continuing commitment by both organizations to care for the poor:
“We share equally with Bishop Taylor in a concern about care for the poor. We are appreciative for the opportunity to continue our dialogue with the bishop as both Mercy and Capella now begin the process of reciprocal due diligence.
“Capella’s practice to care for everyone regardless of ability to pay, and their community outreach programs, were very important priorities for us as we considered the future. Both parties are just beginning to define the terms under which Mercy might transfer the ownership of our Hot Springs ministry. We are asking Capella to assure the continued care for people who are poor, along with giving careful attention to the well being of St. Joseph’s community of co-workers and physicians.
“We are mindful of the many times in our history when the Sisters of Mercy made difficult decisions and changed how they served a community for that very reason – so that ultimately the community, and especially people who are poor, could be better served. It is our goal that, without the redundancy of duplicated services currently existing in Hot Springs, the newly created model of care will bring better capacity not only for serving the Hot Springs community, but especially those who are poor.
“Should the process result in a transfer of ownership, the Sisters’ ministry will continue through an endowment to support the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center, founded by Mercy in 2003 to meet the needs of area children who have experienced child abuse or neglect.”