And its MedChoice rural clinics, effective April 1

ST. LOUIS – SSM Health Care and Audrain Medical Center, Mexico, signed an agreement Thursday under which SSM will own and operate the medical center and its nine MedChoice rural clinics effective April 1.
In making the announcement, SSM also said it would form a Mid- Missouri Region because of the proximity of the medical center and its clinics to SSM's St. Mary's Health Center, Jefferson City. Brent VanConia, president of St. Mary's Health Center, will become interim president of SSM's Mid-Missouri Region.
SSM owns and operates 17 hospitals in four states – Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois – and employs 801 physicians.
Audrain Medical Center is an 88-bed acute care facility with more than 500 employees and 40 active physicians and nurse practitioners. The medical center has been providing quality care in the Audrain/Mexico community since 1918.
"Bringing Audrain Medical Center and MedChoice into the SSM Health Care system will allow us to enhance our health care ministry to better serve the people of Mid-Missouri," said SSM Health Care Presi-dent/CEO William P. Thompson. "Audrain Medical Center has an excellent reputation for providing high quality care, and we are pleased to join them in serving the community."
"Being part of SSM Health Care means a bright, sustainable future for Audrain Medical Center," said David Neuendorf, president and chief executive officer of Audrain Medical Center. "This agreement benefits our employees, physicians and the residents of the communities we serve." Neuendorf will continue as president of Audrain.
"I am very pleased that this agreement will allow SSM to extend its health care ministry through the strong network of physicians and clinics now owned and operated by Audrain," said Brent VanConia. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to work together with Audrain and welcome them into the SSM Health Care family."
As part of the transaction, Audrain Medical Center will be renamed to reflect its affiliation with SSM Health Care. The new name is to be determined.
SSM Health Care is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system with an international reputation as a pioneer in the use of quality measures to improve care. SSM is one of the largest employers in every community it serves. It is located in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Illinois and Missouri. Based in St. Louis, SSM Health Care is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Mary and owns 17 hospitals, has a minority interest in five hospitals, manages one hospital, has affiliations with several rural hospitals, owns two nursing homes, and has a variety of partnerships with physicians.
Audrain Medical Center is an 88-bed, regional acute-care hospital located on a 13-acre campus in Mexico, Missouri. It provides a variety of specialty services including comprehensive cancer services, interventional cardiology services, advanced orthopedic care, and pulmonology services. It has a strong primary care presence with nine Rural Health Clinics located in six surrounding communities. Audrain Medical Center is recognized as a low cost provider in mid- Missouri and its 30-day readmission rate for heart failure patients is among the lowest in the state.