FORT SMITH -A plan to combine Cooper Clinic, P.A., and Mercy Clinic Fort Smith became official November 1, said Dr. Cole Goodman, president of Mercy Clinic. The boards of directors of Cooper Clinic and Mercy Clinic approved the agreement last month, and 61 Cooper Clinic providers, including 48 physicians, elected to integrate with Mercy. Another 400 Cooper Clinic co-workers will join Mercy, and 28 Cooper Clinic practices will become part of the Mercy system.
Mercy Fort Smith has grown to serve more than 450,000 residents in 13 counties in Arkansas and Oklahoma through its network of care facilities. Previous to the Cooper Clinic integration, Mercy operated 48 clinic locations across that service area. Mercy Clinic employs 188 providers, including 154 physicians, and another 521 co-workers.
With the integration of Cooper Clinic, Mercy will offer several new specialties, enabling a greater level of continuity of care. Those specialties include dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, occupational medicine, and ear, nose and throat, among others.
When integration of the clinics is complete, patients new to Mercy will see the many benefits of Mercy's investment in technology and a comprehensive electronic medical records system. Among them is the MyMercy online platform where patients can schedule appointments, ask for prescription refills, see test results, directly message their providers and have e-appointments. Physicians and co-workers in both organizations are involved with efforts to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for patients.
Most Cooper Clinic doctors will integrate with Mercy, but those who will not have notified their patients of those plans. In addition, few physician offices will move, and affected patients will be told of those relocations. Many business operations already have been combined, while others will be phased in over the coming months.
This development will combine the strengths of both Cooper Clinic and Mercy and provide a strong foundation for the continuation of quality healthcare in the River Valley.
Visit www.mercy.net/fortsmithFAQ for answers to many of the questions concerning the changes.