Two Major Arkansas Catholic Hospitals Merge

Apr 1, 2014

Lady's Auxiliary at St. Vincent

A hospital system merger worth a combined $700 million in revenue was announced Tuesday afternoon. Mercy Hospital in Hot Springs is becoming part of the Little Rock based St. Vincent Health System.

Peter Banko, the president of the system, said St. Vincent has been pursuing expansion since talks with UAMS faltered last summer.

“One of our strategies at St. Vincent is to partner with leading hospitals and physician groups across the state in key markets and build a robust statewide network. Unfortunately our discussions with UAMS did not lead to that so we’ve chosen to partner with other organizations to create that statewide network,” said Banko.

Banko argued the merger will improve services for both residents of central and southwest Arkansas.  Mercy and St. Vincent have operated as affiliates of Catholic Health Initiatives and opened within months of each other in 1888. Banko said both institutions shared core philosophies making for a smooth merger.

“The two organizations missions, vision, and values are very congruent and we came to an agreement that assured Catholic healthcare has a strong, sustainable future in Hot Springs and throughout the state of Arkansas,” said Banko.

For more details see the press release distributed Tuesday.