NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital Unveiled

November 5, 2007--Posted at 3:00 p.m. CST

JONESBORO-- Health care in Northeast Arkansas takes a major leap forward today with the official unveiling of NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital. It's not only a name change for the NEA Medical Center in Jonesboro, it marks the beginning of a partnership between NEA Clinic doctors and Baptist Memorial Health Care out of Memphis.

"Partnering we can advance the quality of care for all patients throughout this entire region both in terms of expertise and technology, but then it's also a true commitment to patient care," said Stephen Reynolds, President and CEO of Baptist Memorial.

Baptist Memorial takes a 60% ownership in the hospital from Community Health Systems, Inc., with NEA Clinic doctors retaining a 40% stake in the operation.  "We believe, and it's been shown that an integrated delivery system where doctors and hospitals are part of the same team and a large group of physicians are part of the same team, it really does have the opportunity to deliver high quality patient care," said Dr. Bob Taylor, President of NEA Clinic.

For Jonesboro real estate broker and developer Bob Harrison, who has also served on the Baptist board of trustees for 35 years, this partnership is truly a marriage made in heaven.

"I don't think we've had an executive board meeting in the last 35 years where I didn't say, what about Jonesboro. I just knew that baptist needed to be in Jonesboro," said Harrison. "It's really unlimited, the resources are unlimited now for this area."

And those resources, nearly 100 years in the hospital business and the expertise of the NEA Clinic physicians, will ensure the Baptist three fold message of Christ; teaching, preaching and healing.

"NEA Medical Clinic has been a strength for this community and has been for 30 years, and we've been a strength in the mid south and coupling our strengths together, we will be here for the long term," said Reynolds.

NEA Baptist's immediate expansion plans include an additional 50 private rooms for the hospital, construction of a new cancer center, and a new doctors office complex.