Audrain Medical Center and SSM Health Care celebrated with the community Wednesday as the two hospitals begin their new partnership.
SSM and AMC signed an agreement recently under which SSM will own and operate the medical center and its nine MedChoice rural clinics. The change took effect Monday.
Dave Neuendorf, president of AMC, greeted a large crowd in attendance and told them "This is a historic day and we are grateful you are here."
Bill Thompson, president/CEO, SSM Health Care told those attending that the outstanding turnout showed how much the community appreciated its hospital.
Brent VanConia interim regional president, SSM Mid-Missouri Region President, St. Mary's Health Center, said the two hospitals were a natural fit because of their dedication and services to the community and welcomed AMC and the MedChoice Health Clinics to the SSM family.
Other speakers for the day included Sue Waechter, board chairperson, AMC, who gave the background of AMC from its beginnings. She told the crowd it was the first county hospital in the state and was the first hospital to allow MDs and DOs to practice medicine in the same hospital. Dr. Charles Tillman, cardiologist and board member at AMC also addressed the crowd stating he enjoyed working at AMC because of the staff's sense of pride and appreciates the skills SSM brings to AMC.
Neuendorf expressed his appreciation to everyone who helped bring the two hospitals together. "It took a lot of hard work to bring this about," he said.
Also on the program for the celebration were Paula Friedman, senior vice president, strategic development, SSM Health Care, who gave the invocation and Rev. Mark Porterfield, pastor at St. Brendan Catholic Church who gave the closing prayer.
After the signing ceremony by Waechter, Thompson, Neuendorf, and VanConia, refreshments were served to those attending.