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Baptist Memorial Health Care, Mississippi Baptist Health merge to create one of country's largest nonprofits

Baptist Memorial operates 17 hospitals in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee; Mississippi Baptist runs four hospitals in the state.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Baptist Heart Institute in Memphis, Tennessee (Google Earth)Baptist Heart Institute in Memphis, Tennessee (Google Earth)

Baptist Memorial Health Care, based in Memphis, Tennessee, and Mississippi Baptist Health Systems of Jackson, Mississippi, have completed a merger that makes the new, combined entity one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the country. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Baptist Memorial operates 17 hospitals in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, while Mississippi Baptist runs four hospitals in that state. The two began discussing the possibility of a merger in September. Since then the Federal Trade Commission has approved the merger and the organizations have signed a shared mission agreement.

As a result of the merger, Baptist Memorial will become the largest healthcare provider in the mid-South, and the largest health care system in Mississippi. Baptist Memorial also will become Mississippi's fourth largest employer and will serve every county in the state.

[Also: Federal Court rules against Anthem, upholds permanent injunction against Cigna merger]

Baptist Memorial's electronic health record system, Baptist OneCare, is being installed in Mississippi Baptist hospitals and clinics.

"By combining our resources, we can invest more heavily in our team members, facilities and equipment, which will result in greater access to new technologies, best practices and medical specialists," said Jason Little, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care, in a statement.

Both Baptist Memorial and Mississippi Baptist have Christian missions and 100-plus-year histories in their communities. Baptist Memorial was started in 1912 with one hospital in downtown Memphis. Mississippi Baptist was started in Jackson in 1911 and was that city's first hospital.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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