Posted on April 10, 2023
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-TIMES
A new nonprofit organization has signed an agreement to purchase Medical Center of South Arkansas and its related businesses, including physician clinic operations and outpatient services from subsidiaries of Community Health Systems, Inc.
South Arkansas Regional Hospital (SARH) is a new, nonprofit corporation created by a consortium of community stakeholders with a deep commitment to El Dorado, including the SHARE Foundation, Murphy USA Charitable Foundation, Murphy Foundation and AR Health Ventures, a nonprofit entity affiliated with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
Locally based in South Arkansas, the entities forming SARH are well acquainted with MCSA and have great respect for the providers and employees.
Dr. Brian Jones, President and chief executive officer of the SHARE Foundation and spokesperson for the consortium indicated that establishment of SARH is intended to provide south Arkansas with more services to the community. The new hospital entity is dedicated to serving the medical needs of the region and expects to continue and build on a tradition of providing quality care and service.
“SHARE Foundation has been invested in the health of Union County since 1996. This collaboration allows us to deepen that commitment to our community by building on the quality care and services delivered by the physicians and employees of Medical Center of South Arkansas,” Jones said.
Quality of care at the 166-bed Medical Center of South Arkansas is recognized with an overall 4-star rating on CMS Care Compare and a B on the fall 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.
The hospital cared for patients in more than 95,000 encounters in 2022, including emergency room visits, inpatient admissions, surgeries, physician clinic and outpatient services visits.
Investments of more than $19 million have been made since 2019 to enhance the facility and expand services, including a remodel of the critical care unit, new surgical equipment, infrastructure upgrades, updates to the inpatient units, and a kitchen/café/community center renovation. Last fall, the hospital opened a new $3.5 million dollar, 18-bed inpatient behavioral health unit to offer much-needed mental health support and resources for residents of South Arkansas.
“The partnership between UAMS, the flagship medical organization in Arkansas, and three local foundations is an extraordinary opportunity to provide essential, world-class healthcare and hospital services to South Arkansas, a vital element for economic stability and growth,” said Madison Murphy, president of The Murphy Foundation.
Once the transaction is complete, SARH will work with physicians on the medical staff and leadership to develop plans for the future. Plans are underway to make capital improvements at the facility over the next five years.
“We are excited to be a part of this important effort to improve the health and well-being of our community, and contribute towards high-impact initiatives that will shape the future of El Dorado and South Arkansas,” added Andrew Clyde, chairperson of Murphy USA Charitable Foundation.
Alignment with UAMS will support enhanced delivery of services at the hospital by various specialists.
UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson said, “UAMS Is pleased to be a part of this effort to expand health care delivery and education in this important region of our state. Through the generous support of the SHARE Foundation and others, UAMS is in the process of opening our ninth regional campus in El Dorado. The South Arkansas Regional Hospital collaboration further supports our commitment to this region and our plans to establish a primary care physician residency program in El Dorado. Statistics show that doctors are more likely to practice where they completed their training, particularly their residencies. Working together, we look forward to creating a destination in El Dorado for our graduates to make a lasting impact on the community.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close Summer 2023. For more information about SARH, visit sarhcare.org.