Saint Francis Healthcare System and Black River Medical Center have entered formal discussions regarding Black River Medical Center joining Saint Francis. A merger between Saint Francis and Black River allows both organizations to focus on a shared vision, including outcomes, experience and value.

“Quality healthcare at an affordable price is the reason Black River Medical Center has enjoyed national acclaim and local success,” said Christy Shawan, Chief Executive Officer of Black River Medical Center. “This exciting partnership with Saint Francis will provide resources and support in this rapidly changing healthcare environment allowing us to continue our mission and exceed expectations for our community. I am excited for our future, expanding our capabilities while continuing our legacy of patient-focused, quality care.”

Black River’s healthcare professionals will have direct access to Saint Francis’ powerful resources, state-of-the-art facilities, integrated medical record and a larger network of physicians and specialties.

“A partnership between Black River Medical Center and Saint Francis Healthcare System means a continued commitment to medical excellence with a focus on high-quality care and exceptional patient experience. This is an exciting time for healthcare in the Poplar Bluff community,” said Dr. F. Michael Caldwell, family medicine physician at Physicians Park Primary Care.

The expected date for these changes is yet to be determined. The relationship between Black River and Saint Francis will continue to provide job opportunities for the region, as well as potential new employment opportunities in the future.

“This agreement marks a significant step for both Black River Medical Center and Saint Francis Healthcare System,” said Maryann Reese, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saint Francis Healthcare System.

“We know the positive impact cooperation can have in healthcare, especially in service to rural communities. The knowledge, skill and dedication of Black River’s physicians and staff members is remarkable and will be an excellent addition to our Saint Francis Family. We are proud for the opportunity to call them colleagues as we continue our efforts to build healthier communities across our region.”