The new year marks a new addition to CoxHealth: As of Jan. 1, Barton County Memorial Hospital officially joined CoxHealth as the system’s sixth hospital. Now known as Cox Barton County Hospital, the acquisition signifies an advancement of CoxHealth’s efforts to strategically grow.
“CoxHealth has made the expansion of our services throughout the region a priority, since it will improve access to health care for people in the Ozarks,” says Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth. “The Barton County hospital has long been a respected health care provider in Lamar and the surrounding area, so we’re thrilled to have them join us. By combining our strengths, we will work to expand services, find new efficiencies and serve the community in new ways that wouldn’t be possible for a standalone hospital.”
Although the addition and expansion of services are in the works, little will change on a day-to-day basis for employees at the Barton County hospital. All of the hospital’s employees in good standing will retain their positions for at least one year after the acquisition.
However, Edwards stresses that there are no plans to reduce positions at all, and mentions intentions to strategically increase staffing. Additionally, CoxHealth values Barton County’s relationships with its physicians, and is honoring all physician contracts.
“We’re excited for what joining CoxHealth will bring,” says Wendy Duvall, CEO of Cox Barton County Hospital. “The way health care works today made it extremely challenging for a single hospital to continue operating the way most have for years. This partnership is a great thing for us, as it means critical access care will still be available locally.”
Barton County isn’t the first place CoxHealth has grown by acquisition. Five years ago, CoxHealth welcomed Skaggs Regional Medical Center – today’s Cox Medical Center Branson – as its fifth hospital. Other acquisitions include Cox Monett Hospital (formerly St. Vincent Hospital) in 1993, and Meyer Orthopedic & Rehabilitation Hospital (formerly Columbia and Hospital Corporation of America) in 1998.