Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

CoxHealth announces new pediatric partnership with St. Louis Children’s Hospital

 A CoxHealth facility in central Springfield, Mo.
A CoxHealth facility in central Springfield, Mo.

After a previously announced deal with Mercy Southwest Missouri fell apart back in March, CoxHealth on Tuesday announced a new pediatric partnership with St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Healthcare officials are calling it a “first step.”


Mercy Springfield issued a statement after CoxHealth made their announcement Tuesday. It reads, "our goal has always been to improve pediatric care for our region. If the CoxHealth and BJC collaboration will provide enhanced care for our kids, we see that as a positive if pediatric care is close to home for the residents of Springfield. We wish CoxHealth would have joined us in welcoming the pediatric partner our community clearly voiced was their preference, which is Children’s Mercy Kansas City, the No. 1 children’s hospital in Missouri. We understand that CoxHealth’s existing relationships may not have allowed for that, as that became clear several months ago. Our hope is that all pediatric care models focus on keeping kids in Springfield, which is one of the main reasons we decided to welcome Children’s Mercy Kansas City into our community. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is enhancing pediatric care for the kids in our community.”

Original story:

Cox officials wouldn’t give any interviews and offered few concrete details, but they said Tuesday they signed preliminary paperwork to partner with St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

That’s a division of St. Louis’s BJC Health System staffed exclusively by pediatricians from Washington University. The goal of the partnership is to expand children’s health care in the Ozarks and prevent families from needing to travel outside the region for care.

Cox says the partnership will include a standalone pediatric outpatient center. But Cox wasn’t ready to say how the center would be staffed, where it might be located or if it meant new pediatricians would move into the Springfield market. Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Cox says they hope to work out a final agreement with St. Louis Children’s Hospital by early fall.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.