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MU Health CEO gives update on possible merger with Boone Hospital

The CEO of MU Health said the possible merger with Boone Hospital would help “bring jobs back to Columbia.”

CEO Jonathan Curtwright gave an update on those discussion during the University of Missouri Board of Curators’ Health Affairs Committee meeting Friday.

ABC 17 News reported in August when the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to discuss aligning with University of Missouri Health Care.

Curtwright advocated for the merger and said “we will see how things with that progress over the next couple of months.” He said the possible partnership would increase the number of doctors, nurses and health professionals in our state.

“It will bring jobs back to Columbia. There’s no other way to say it. This will have a major economic impact on our community both now and for years to come,” Curtwright said. “We do believe that we are going to be able to train more nurses, more allied health staff and more physicians to practice in the state of Missouri.”

Curtwright also said the possible merger would help create efficiencies as well as keep hospital decision-making local.

“You can’t go through Columbia right now and not recognize that we do have some duplication of services. There will be massive efficiencies, we think, and we will be able to eliminate a lot of the duplication that already exists within our community, so we’ll be a much more efficient model,” he said. “Hospital decision making will be local and we’ll be able to make decisions on capital and staffing and space right here in our community.”

In addition to the benefits Curtwright outlined, MU Health officials said the merger would decide the fate of three projects outlined in MU Health’s five-year capital plan. Those include building a new outpatient clinic, an inpatient expansion of University Health and an inpatient expansion of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The total cost of all three projects is $500 million.

“These are predicated on our work with Boone Hospital,” Curtwright said.

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