The boards of Cooper Clinic P.A. and Mercy Clinic Fort Smith announced Thursday that they are discussing a possible merger that would combine operations of the two entities.
Both boards feel strongly about retaining the physicians currently practicing in Fort Smith and are committed to the sustainability and growth of the city and region’s medical community, according to a news release.
The boards said they intend to focus on the health and wellness of people in the community, the integration and best use of staff, and what is beneficial for all.
When they have come to a decision regarding the viability of a merger, the boards will make a combined announcement.
Mercy Spokeswoman Jennifer Cook said an announcement would be made regardless of whether the decision is to merge or not merge.
She also said the health care entity employs 188 providers, including 154 physicians and 34 advanced practice clinicians; 521 co-workers who are not providers; and has 47 locations.
This is not the first time this type of discussion between the entities has taken place. Arkansas Business reported that Mercy had been speaking with Cooper officials in 2012 about the possibility of Mercy buying the Cooper Clinic.