Published on January 21, 2010

Baptist Memorial Health Care and NEA Clinic Announce New Not-for-Profit Health System

JONESBORO, Ark. - Baptist Memorial Health Care and NEA Clinic announced today that the two have partnered to form a not-for-profit health system in Northeast Arkansas named NEA Baptist Health System. As part of this new initiative, NEA Clinic announced that the largest physician-owned medical group in the state will convert to not-for-profit status.

The newly formed, Arkansas-based not-for-profit health system will be an affiliate of Baptist Memorial Health Care and will steer the activities of both NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital and NEA Clinic, whose name will change to NEA Baptist Clinic.

Local management of NEA Baptist and NEA Clinic will remain unchanged with this new health system structure. A board made up of NEA Clinic physicians, Baptist leadership and other community members will govern the new health system.

"Our partnership with NEA Clinic and their longstanding commitment to this community give us the confidence to make a significant, long-term investment, which along with the formation of this new health system is approximately $400 million - the single largest made by Baptist in any community and the largest health care investment in Arkansas in the last decade," said David Hogan, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Baptist Memorial Health Care.

"By putting together a strong, physician-directed and professionally managed health care system, we believe it will allow us to continue to provide high-quality, cost-effective care to the Northeast Arkansas community far into the future," said Robert Taylor, M.D., president of NEA Clinic.  "This highly integrated and efficient system, including hospital and outpatient services with the patient-physician relationship at its center, is the wave of the future for patient care, much like the Mayo Clinic model of health care."

According to NEA Clinic and Baptist officials, the partnership will bring more efficiencies, advanced technology and provide an even higher level of care to patients. The integration allows the system to continue to grow and expand services to meet the health care needs of Northeast Arkansas.

"Partnering with NEA Clinic over the past two years has reinforced what we already knew - that this is one of the finest physician groups in the country," said Stephen Reynolds, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care.  "We think this move gives us the opportunity to work closer and benefit from each others expertise to carry out our mission going into the future."

"Creating one health system positions us for national health care reform," said Jim Boswell, CEO of NEA Clinic.  "There is a clear national trend toward large physician groups and hospital systems coming together in partnership and forming integrated clinical enterprises. NEA Clinic and Baptist have spent many months looking at organizations like St. John's, Mayo and Cleveland Clinic to see firsthand the benefits for our patients and our community. The multi-specialty group practice model integrated with a highly successful hospital has been proven to provide higher quality care in a more efficient, cost-effective manner."

"The pairing of the hospital and clinic will allow us to make the care of patients even more seamless," said Stephen Woodruff, M.D., medical director of NEA Clinic.  "This pairing brings together the largest clinic in Arkansas with the largest health care system in the Mid-South and one of the largest in the country as one organization."

One of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the United States, Baptist Memorial Health Care offers a full continuum of care to communities throughout the Mid-South. The Baptist system, which consistently ranks among the top integrated health care networks in the nation, comprises 15 hospitals in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas; more than 3,100 affiliated physicians; home, hospice and psychiatric care; minor medical centers and clinics; a network of surgery, rehabilitation and other outpatient centers; and an education system highlighted by the Baptist College of Health Sciences. Baptist has more than 2,600 licensed beds systemwide, employs more than 12,000 people and has approximately 85,000 admissions annually. In fiscal year 2008, Baptist provided $541 million in community benefit to the communities it serves. For more information about Baptist, please visit or call 800-4-BAPTIST.

NEA Clinic is the largest physician-owned multispecialty medical group practice in Arkansas, with more than 90 physicians. The mission of NEA Clinic is to provide comprehensive, personalized, quality care to patients throughout Northeast Arkansas. For more information on NEA Baptist Clinic, please visit For more information about NEA Baptist Health System, please call 870-897-2094.

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