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Mercy Clinic, Cooper Clinic Announce Merger

2 min read

Cooper Clinic and Mercy Clinic in Fort Smith announced Wednesday that they have merged. The organizations’ boards of directors approved the agreement last month.

The organization have been in talks since September. 

Sixty-one Cooper Clinic providers, including 48 physicians, elected to integrate with Mercy, and another 400 Cooper Clinic coworkers will join Mercy. Also, 28 Cooper Clinic practices will become part of the Mercy system.

The Cooper Clinic locations will operate under Mercy branding. Patients will notice temporary signs at clinics, to be replaced with permanent Mercy signs and iconography in the near future, according to a news release.

The organizations said the integration will provide opportunities to support local communities in ways that could not have been accomplished as separate entities and that their extensive histories of caring for patients in the area make them ideal partners.

Dr. Daniel Mackey, president of Cooper Clinic’s board, said in the release that Dr. St. Cloud Cooper had better patient care in mind in 1920 when he and six other physicians formed the group. 

“Cooper Clinic’s decision to join Mercy Clinic was made with that same goal in mind. For our employees, our physicians and our patients, this is an exciting time. Joining Mercy Clinic is not the end of Dr. Cooper’s legacy, it is a continuation of that commitment,” he said.

Mercy Fort Smith serves more than 450,000 people in 13 counties in Arkansas and Oklahoma through its network of hospitals, primary, specialty and convenient care clinics. Before the merger, it operated 48 clinic locations across that service area.

Mercy employs 188 providers, including 154 physicians and another 521 coworkers.

As a result of the merger, it will offer several new specialties, including dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, occupational medicine and ear, nose and throat.

The organizations said many of their business operations have already been combined, while others will be phased in over the coming months.

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