SoutheastHEALTH signs letter of intent to join St. Louis-based Mercy

Southeast Missouri Hospital
Southeast Missouri Hospital

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – SoutheastHEALTH announced Monday that it has signed a letter of intent with St. Louis-based Mercy to join the health system as a full member.

The letter of intent caps off a search process involving the SoutheastHEALTH selection committee, Southeast Hospital board of directors and SoutheastHEALTH System board of directors.

“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,” said President and CEO Ken Bateman. Mercy is the best strategic fit for both entities and this vision. With a proven track record in community health, Mercy fully supports strengthening access to affordable primary and specialty health care for all residents in the communities we serve.”

Bateman says that while Mercy’s scale is important, this alignment is also a great fit for SoutheastHEALTH’s culture and is good for the community.

“We look forward to the opportunity to provide even more access to high-quality, lower- cost health care for the Cape Girardeau community,” said Steve Mackin, Mercy President and CEO in a statement on “By joining together, we will utilize Mercy’s extensive network of resources and services to further position SoutheastHEALTH as the regional hub for industry leading health care. We are very excited to have the potential to serve in this part of Missouri.”

“I’m pleased with the thoughtfulness of the process and the engagement of individuals represented across the health system and the community,” said SoutheastHealth System Board Chairman, Dr. Jim Dufek.

Dufek added that the alignment of the two health systems has the full support of the board of directors and is being communicated to employees and physicians at a series of meetings starting Monday. Dufek estimates a definitive agreement will be completed this summer with integration taking place this fall.

Mercy is one of the 25 largest U.S. health systems. It was named the top large system in the U.S. for excellent patient experience by NRC Health.

Mercy serves millions annually and is one of the nation’s largest Accountable Care Organizations.

The Mercy multi-state healthcare system includes more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, convenient and urgent care locations, imaging centers and pharmacies.

Mercy has 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 4,000 Mercy Clinic physicians and advanced practitioners and more than 40,000 co- workers serving patients and families across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

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