Baptist Hospitals merger is a done deal

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The trustees of Jackson-based Baptist Memorial Health Systems voted Tuesday to finalize the merger with Baptist Memorial in Memphis, according to two sources within the hospital.

The merger will bring together two of the biggest hospital systems in their respective states. Mississippi Baptist encompasses four hospitals and a handful of other health care services across the state and employs more than 3,700 health care professionals. Memphis Baptist includes 17 affiliate hospitals, six of which are already in Mississippi, and employs more than 14,000 people.

The two hospital systems first announced they had begun discussing a potential collaboration last September. At the time, they said that the hospitals enjoy “similar organizational cultures” and name recognition, since both are referred to as “Baptist” in their local communities. Although the two hospitals share a religious affiliation, they are currently run separately.

“Each has consistently demonstrated, over 100 years, a history of providing excellent care in a Christian healing environment and an unwavering commitment to this shared vision,” said a statement released by both hospitals in September.

Memphis Baptist is also expected to extend its electronic health record system to the four Mississippi Baptist Health Systems hospitals. Memphis Baptist employees have been working with Mississippi Baptist hospitals since last fall on the transition, and Mississippi Baptist plans to go live with the new system in February 2018, according to Mississippi Baptist spokesperson Robby Channel.