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CoxHealth has inked a letter of intent to form a pediatric partnership.
provided by CoxHealth
CoxHealth has inked a letter of intent to form a pediatric partnership.

CoxHealth signs letter of intent to form pediatric partnership

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CoxHealth has signed a letter of intent to form a pediatric partnership with St. Louis Children’s Hospital, following a similar announcement by Mercy Springfield Communities earlier this year.

Through the agreement, CoxHealth and SLCH would work together to increase access to local pediatric care, with the support of pediatric specialists at Washington University School of Medicine, according to a news release. The organizations are entering a due diligence process with a goal of finalizing the agreement by early fall. The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed, officials said.

“In St. Louis Children’s and Washington University, we are fortunate to have collaborators that are mutually committed to working with us to make Springfield a medical hub for pediatric care,” said Max Buetow, CoxHealth president and CEO, in the release. "Today marks an important step in what will be a thoughtful and intentional process to determine how we can improve and expand access to pediatric care for hundreds of thousands of families in this region."

CoxHealth's pediatric partnership envisions the creation of a standalone pediatric outpatient center, the enhancement of pediatric and NICU inpatient care, and the recruitment and retainment of pediatric providers. A location for the center has not been determined, officials say.

“St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine and CoxHealth have a shared mission to provide exceptional health care for our patients and communities,” said Trish Lollo, SLCH president, in the release. “We look forward to continued discussions to determine how that could best be accomplished in southwest Missouri.”

CoxHealth had been in talks with Mercy Springfield Communities to form a pediatric partnership, but the proposed collaboration ended in March after Mercy announced a partnership with Children’s Mercy Kansas City, without the involvement of CoxHealth, according to past reporting.

An expanded version of this article is planned in Springfield Business Journal’s May 27 print edition.

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