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Hospitals explore options for an affiliation

FARMINGTON – Parkland Health Center has been approached by Mineral Area Regional Medical Center to “explore opportunities for a closer working relationship,” according to a press release issued Monday afternoon by Parkland President Richard Conklin.

Conklin said he was contacted by Mineral Area Regional Medical Center CEO Steve Crain on Sept. 8 to discuss the possibility of an affiliation between Parkland hospitals in Farmington and Bonne Terre and Mineral Area Regional “for the best interest of the communities we serve.”

Conklin said this action was recommended by a consultant who was engaged by Mineral Area Regional for strategic planning purposes and authorized by the hospital board, which is made up of members chosen from their medical staff.

“While Mineral Area Regional has noted their willingness to talk with other parties, they have indicated their belief that an affiliation with Parkland appears to be the best choice for al concerned,” Conklin wrote.

“Parkland Health Center and BJC Healthcare look forward to exploring common ground with Mineral Area Regional where we can work together in the best interest of our communities.”

Crain said only one decision has been made by Mineral Area Regional and that was to enter into some kind of dialogue with Parkland to see whether an opinion by a consultant had any merit.

Crain said he and Conklin had a conservation that lasted 45 minutes.

“There has been no movement other than that,” he said.

Mineral Area Regional Medical Center was founded in 1951 by four osteopathic physicians.

Parkland Health Center is comprised of two former independent community hospitals, Farmington Community Hospital and Bonne Terre Hospital. The facilities merged in 1991.

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