Breech Medical Center in Lebanon, Mo., will take its affiliation agreement with St. John's Health System to a full-asset merger over the next few years, the hospitals announced.
St. John's, based 50 miles away in Springfield, Mo., is part of Sisters of Mercy Health System in St. Louis.
Under the agreement, St. John's will finance the construction of a replacement hospital for 49-bed Breech, built in 1934. When the new building is complete, Breech will contribute all its assets to St. John's in a complete merger.
Starting about 18 months ago, said Gary Pulsipher, Breech's chief executive officer, "We met with them to divide our territories up a little bit; let's work together." They completed the affiliation agreement in April 1995. St. John's has a big primary-care presence in Lebanon and is a tertiary referral center.
Breech's management agreement with Quorum Health Group will end, and St. John's will take over operation of the community hospital.